The second phase of Hung Hing’s production facility in Hanoi, Vietnam, is progressing as scheduled, with full operations commencing by the end of this year. “We have also pumped nearly $45 million into constructing a new site specializing in smart-printed packaging products in Wuxi, about 160 kilometers northwest of Shanghai,” says Richard Lim, chief operations officer. “This plant, upon completion in 2023, is capable of producing 25,000 tons of products annually.”
Two new KBA presses—a five-color and a six-color for the Shenzhen and Hanoi operations, respectively—will be installed in the first half of next year. “Meanwhile, a recently installed Fuji Jet Press capable of B2-format digital printing is already supporting low print runs at our Wuxi factory,” Lim says, pointing out that most of the company’s perfecting presses have been reinstalled with LED ink-printing capabilities.
The rising demand for board games has seen Hung Hing expanding and investing in this particular segment. “We have invested in new post-press machines, including automated lines for playing cards and jigsaw puzzles,” says commercial director Christopher Yum, who has obtained relevant licenses from major game manufacturers to start producing these products soon.
Business-wise, Hung Hing expects its export segment to grow by more than 20% this year. “We remain optimistic, especially now that our Vietnam operation has started and is expanding fast,” Yum says. “We firmly believe in the future growth and potential of the packaging business. The rise of the middle class as well as the rapid growth of e-commerce in many Asian countries have created a huge demand for packaging products.” But his domestic business has declined owing to weaker consumer sentiments amid periodic lockdowns in China.
Following last year’s shipping and logistical chaos, many clients had planned their projects for completion in the first half of 2022, Yum says. “These orders are ready for shipment or will be soon, which will result in a surge in transportation and deliveries. Fortunately, freight rates have declined from their peak of between $10,000 and $12,000 to the U.S., and $12,000 to the U.K. and Continental Europe, for a 40-foot container. More inquiries have come in following these lower freight rates.”
Last year, Hung Hing won the Smart Energy Excellence Award for its sustainability efforts. Among its biggest initiatives was the installation of a 526-kWp solar power system at its Tai Po headquarters, which is capable of offsetting 113 tons of carbon emissions per annum. “The use of FSC and PEFC-certified papers, soy inks, and water-based varnishing materials effectively reduced our total VOC emissions from 361 tons to 96 tons between 2016 and 2019,” Yum says. “We continue to look for areas to expand, improve, and make more sustainable and eco-friendly.”