Port cargo volume expands 7% in H1

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Total cargo volume handled by the country’s ports grew 7.42 percent in the first six months from a year ago amid favorable business climate, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Cargo volume climbed to 125.81 million metric tons (MT) in the first half from 117.12 million MT in the same period last year.

“Port traffic sustained its growth momentum propelled by the surging domestic demand as well as private investment, which drove economy wide growth in view of the government’s expansionary fiscal-policy stance,” PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago said.

He said the more efficient movement of cargoes coming in and out of the Manila ports as a result of the implementation of Terminal Appointment Booking System, as well other measures for decongestion also contributed to the continued efficient operations of the ports.

“Mindanao ports, particularly those in Northern Mindanao, continued to show growth notwithstanding the ongoing security concerns in the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, total container throughput in the January to June period rose 12 percent to 3.49 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year from 3.11 million TEUs handled last year.

Passenger traffic also went up 1.85 percent to 38.58 million as of end-June this year from 37.88 million passengers in the same period last year due to higher volume of travelers during the observance of the Holy Week, as well as the continuous reliance by the sea-traveling public on Ro-Ro vessels and motorized bancas for domestic inter-island connectivity.

Ship calls, meanwhile,  declined slightly to 219,380 in the first semester from 220,721 in the same period a year ago due to cancellation of trips.

Productivity, specifically at the Manila Ports composed of the Manila South Harbor, Manila North Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal, remains very healthy with no sign of congestion.

In particular, the Manila Ports had a combined yard utilization of 53 percent, combined berth occupancy rate of 57 percent and quay crane productivity at 26 moves per crane per hour.

Last year, total volume of cargo handled by the country’s ports reached 249.57 million MT, 12 percent higher than the 223.67 million MT in 2015.

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