Annex 2 : Description of Open Storage and Port Back-up Uses and General Impacts


Open Storage


Storage of Construction Materials and Equipment


Storage of construction materials (such as bricks, scaffolding, sand) and equipment (caterpillars, rollers etc) is the most common form of storage in Hong Kong. Activities are located throughout the Territory. Materials are mostly stored near points of production, while equipment is stored near to construction and development sites.




Impacts depend on the nature, bulk and quantity of materials or equipment stored. Environmental impacts may occur on visual amenity, through the storage of heavy plant material, and air quality, notably through the handling and storage of sand and cement. Generally low levels of traffic are generated by such sites.


Vehicle Storage


This involves the storage of new and used vehicles for sale as well as the disposal and storage of vehicle components. Commercial and informal parking of cars as well as container lorry parking are not included in this category. Sites are located near to the port but also in the New Territories given the increasing trade of new motor vehicles between Hong Kong and China.




The scale of activities has been influenced by import/export regulations to China. In peak years vehicle storage can take up large areas of land. Traffic generation is however low and concentrated during peak periods. Relatively low environmental impacts are generated.


Storage of Products


This category embraces a large range of products varying in bulk and quantity. Products include timber and logs (the largest component), rattan and bamboo products, ceramic and pottery products and processed agricultural products. In general these are low value products as higher value manufactured goods are usually stored within built accommodation. Sites are typically located in low valued land, remote locations or near to sources of production.




Generally low traffic levels are generated and impacts on noise, water and air quality are slight, being restricted to access and loading/unloading of trucks, given the absence of manufacturing activities. Visual intrusion may occur for larger forms of storage, such as timber and logs.


Dumping and Vehicle Parts Storage/Repair Activities


This comprises dumping of scrap vehicles, car breaking, storage of scrap metal or used storage tanks, cans, paper and general rubbish. It also includes vehicle repair activities, usually associated with car dumping, temporary vehicle storage and storage of spare parts. Being the end product of material consumption, principally arising from urban population, such sites tend to be scattered in urban fringe areas.




These are low value activities requiring little investment on site. Such sites usually have unkempt appearance and ill defined boundaries. This, together with the storage of unsightly goods, creates considerable visual intrusion, which is compounded by the proliferation of sites within a distinct area. Other problems result from noise impacts of breaking or repair, seepage of effluent on land and watercourses (due to inadequate drainage), and general littering.


Port Back-up Uses


Container Lorry Park


These are used for day time and overnight parking of container lorries (tractors) and trailers. Sites are currently located both near to the existing container port (typically accommodating tractors and unladen trailers) where they are near to drivers' residences, or near to border areas such as San Tin and Lau Fau Shan where they act as transhipment centres for the movement of full and empty containers between the port and China.




The main impacts of container lorry parking relates to traffic generated by the site. Noise impacts are caused by the starting up of engines, movement of trucks around the site such as from the use of air brakes, and traffic noise generated from trucks travelling to and from the site. Air pollution results from exhaust gases from the vehicles and, where sites are unpaved and uneven, from discharges of dust particles entrained in the tread of tires and subsequently released to the atmosphere as particulates. Leakages of oils and other vehicle fluids can cause land contamination and pollution of water courses, where sites are unpaved and not serviced by proper drainage. Traffic generation is high and tends to be concentrated during morning and evening peaks.


Container Storage and Repair


These serve mainly as overflow sites to serve the port, at which there is insufficient space to store containers. Absence of adequate land around the container port has led to the proliferation of sites in distinct areas of the New Territories where cheaper land costs prevail. The larger sites are characterised by stacking of containers of up to 7 units high and include well organised, mechanised operations involving relatively high investments. Repair of containers are usually included at the larger sites; very few sites are used exclusively for repair activities.




Visual intrusion, noise from container handling and truck movements, air pollution from dust emissions (on unpaved sites) and exhaust fumes from vehicles, and leakage of effluent from vehicles and repair activities are all common environmental problems associated with these sites. Traffic problems include off-site queuing of vehicles and movements of trucks on poor road quality (including unpaved rural tracks), which result in safety hazards for pedestrians, congestion and further degradation of the rural environment. The highest generation rates of container traffic are recorded on such sites.


Container Freight Station (CFS)


CFSs act as centres for the consolidation or splitting of container loads for onward distribution. Off-port CFS activities are accommodated within purpose built buildings or as part of godowns, and are mostly distributed in built up areas, notably in and around Tsuen Wan where they act as consolidation points for distribution in the remainder of the Territory. CFS activities not requiring fast and efficient access to the port tend to locate in the New Territories.




The use of covered accommodation minimises noise and air pollution impacts on adjacent areas. Traffic problems may be caused by on-street queuing, where delays in the processing of trucks occur. Such problems are usually within defined peak hours related to shipping movements.


Container Yard


Container Yards store loaded containers awaiting onward distribution. Unlike CFS activities, no consolidation or splitting of loads take place on such sites. These are normally associated with goods and containers handled by the mid-stream operators through private or public cargo working areas. Investment on such sites are usually high, as the value of goods stored is high, including perishable foodstuffs. The majority of activities at container yards are uncovered and sites are usually large, varying between 755 metre square to 33 900 square metres with a mean of just under one ha.




Impacts on visual intrusion and noise is less due to absence of stacking of containers at these sites. Although generating less traffic than container storage sites, queuing of trucks may occur off-site during peak hours. Traffic congestion caused by the sites may be severe where these are serviced by small rural roads.

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 Last revision date : November 2008