Mid-stream operation
Mid-stream operation is the operation of loading and unloading cargo containers
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 at the container ship
Container ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.-History:...

 while at sea, with barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

s or dumb steel lighters
Lighter (barge)
A lighter is a type of flat-bottomed barge used to transfer goods and passengers to and from moored ships. Lighters were traditionally unpowered and were moved and steered using long oars called "sweeps," with their motive power provided by water currents...

 performing the transfer, distribution
Distribution (business)
Product distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user.The other three parts of the marketing mix are product, pricing,...

 or landing of containers to pier
A pier is a raised structure, including bridge and building supports and walkways, over water, typically supported by widely spread piles or pillars...

s nearby.

Although mid-stream operation has the significant advantage of low costs, it has been criticized for its dangerous operation where cargoes are transferred between two ships on sea, which make it very difficult to operate.

Hong Kong operations

Mid-stream operation has been abandoned almost everywhere except Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, where land is insufficient and the fees for using the container pier are quite high. In Hong Kong, mid-stream operations occur at 12 different locations occupying a total land area of 34.6 hectares and water frontage of 3,513 metres.

Operators include:
  • Fat Kee Stevedores Ltd.
  • Tai Wah Sea/Land Heavy Transportation Ltd.
  • Transward Ltd.

See also

  • Ship-to-ship cargo transfer
    Ship-to-ship cargo transfer
    A ship-to-ship transfer operation is the transfer of cargo between seagoing ships positioned alongside each other, either while stationary or underway. Cargoes typically transferred via STS methods include crude oil, liquefied gas , bulk cargo, and petroleum products.Most of cargo operations are...

  • Underway replenishment
    Underway replenishment
    Underway replenishment or replenishment at sea is a method of transferring fuel, munitions, and stores from one ship to another while under way.-History:...

  • Port of Hong Kong
    Port of Hong Kong
    The Port of Hong Kong, located by the South China Sea, is a deepwater seaport dominated by trade in containerised manufactured products, and to a lesser extent raw materials and passengers. A key factor in the economic development of Hong Kong, the natural shelter and deep waters of Victoria...

  • Stevedore
    Stevedore, dockworker, docker, dock labourer, wharfie and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country....

External links

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