^

Business

Batangas port volumes sustain 3-digit gains

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Coming off a 120 percent volume surge last year, Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) said volumes at its   Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) could further accelerate this year, especially if traders could persuade shipping lines to use the southern Luzon terminal for cargoes to and from Calabarzon (Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon).

BCT’s container throughput grew 120 percent in the last quarter of the year, while the trend continued in January and February with 110 percent growth year-to-date driven by weekly imports from Singapore and weekly exports to Taiwan and China.

“The growth comes from a small base, but is extremely promising for the port and also for the Calabarzon import-export community. This development is remarkable because it indicates that locators are already demanding routing through Batangas from their freight forwarders and shipping lines. We need more ‘locator power’ to build greater network momentum,” ATI executive vice president Andrew Hoad said.

“BCT is a modern and world-class facility with all the industry expertise one would expect from an operator backed by DP World, which operates the largest container port portfolio across the globe,” he said, referring to ATI’s strategic foreign partner.

Putting a clearer perspective on the slower-than-expected volume build-up at Batangas, Hoad said: “Many parties seem to assume that the port authorities or terminal operators can direct shipping lines to call at Manila or Batangas; that action can be taken by mandate or by pricing to make shipping lines call;  that the right push needs to be exerted on the right agency then everything else follows. This is a fundamental misnomer.”

Citing how the port industry operates around the world, Hoad explained that shipping lines would always bring a new port into their network when either the population of consumers or the size of economic activity justifies it. â€œNo one can force a ship to call at a port until either population or economic activity is in its immediate environs. The cost could be zero at the port but it wouldn’t make a difference if the market momentum isn’t there yet,” he said.

“As direct foreign investment grows in Calabarzon, then momentum will grow, and I believe that is what is behind these very good growth figures for Batangas. We’ve observed the same in the gradual shift in port locations as industry shifts in Vietnam, Korea and Thailand, locations where DP World has operated new ports outside the established city or economic centers.”

ANDREW HOAD

ASIAN TERMINALS INC

BATANGAS

BATANGAS CONTAINER TERMINAL

CALABARZON

HOAD

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

KOREA AND THAILAND

PORT

TAIWAN AND CHINA

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with