Philippine ports ready for holiday season
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) assured the public that there will be no congestions that can affect its operations, with cargo volumes expected to increase during the months before the Christmas holidays.
According to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, ports across the country will be able to accommodate demand.
“Despite the surging numbers, we guarantee that our ports remain clogged-free and can accommodate the increasing cargo, passenger, and ship call volumes,” he said.
Data from PPA shows that the combined yard utilization at Manila ports is currently at 40%. Meanwhile, yard productivity ranges from 20 to 30 moves an hour, as approximately 32,600 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) are inside the terminals. A TEU is a unit of measurement used to measure capacity of cargo ships and terminals, based on the volume of an average 20-foot cargo container.
Santiago attributed the improvement in yard management in Manila terminals partly to the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS).
The utilization of this system, he added, resulted in 96% port efficiency. Meanwhile, daily gateouts are now at 7,000 to 7,500 TEUs compared to the average daily gateouts of 4,500 to 5000 TEUs before the implementation of the system.
“With this kind of yard utilization, we can say that Philippine ports are ready to handle the expected increase in the volume of cargo due to the run-up to Christmas,” Santiago said.
PPA data also shows that ports are already dealing with an increase of 11% in cargo volume from January to July 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
Santiago identified the increase as a “strong performance” which highlights the “continuing vibrancy” of the industry.
“The strong performance of the cargo segment underscores the country’s economic resilience,” he explained. “The strong numbers in the passage sector also suggests the continuing vibrancy of both the local and international travel industries and more people are now considering traveling using ships.”
Total cargo in the first 7 months of 2016 already reached 141.770 million metric tons (mmt) compared to 128.217 mmt in the same period in 2015.
Foreign cargo volume, meanwhile, rose 12% while domestic traffic recorded an increase of 9%.
Ship calls in the same period, on the other hand, recorded a 9% increase to 255,037 from last year’s 234,468. Domestic and foreign ship calls grew by 8.45% and 21.91% respectively.
An 11% hike was also seen in passenger volume. Foreign passengers, meanwhile, rose 69% as domestic passenger volume posted an 11% increase.
According to Santiago, the ports of Agusan, Mindoro, National Capital Region (NCR) North, Panay/Guimaras, and Negros Oriental/Siquijor registered the biggest growth percentage in local and foreign cargo.
North Habor, meanwhile, remained the top performer in domestic cargo volume. It handled 696,495 TEUs.
With 1.241 million TEUs processed from January to July 2016, the Manila International Container Terminal Services, Inc (MICTS) took the spot as the country’s top handler of foreign boxes. Manila South Harbor came in second with 584,598 TEUs. – Rappler.com