Trans-Asia expands fleet with new RoRo
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - December 9, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. closes the year with yet another brand new vessel, expanding its fleet with a total of 16 ships.

Now managed by tycoon Dennis Uy’s Chelsea Logistics, Trans Asia said 2019 has been an unprecedented year for the company with two brand new vessels added to its fleet.

Earlier this year, Trans Asia launched MV Trans-Asia 19 to ply the Cebu-Tagbilaran-Cagayan de Oro route.

On December 5, the company launched MV Trans-Asia 20, another brand new roll-on, roll off ship built in Kegoya, Japan and specifically designed for Philippine waters. It will start serving the Cebu-Cagayan de Oro-Cebu route anytime this month.

“It’s an unprecedented year for us and we would like to thank all the riding public and our business partners for making all these possible,” said Sheila Fay Sy, vice president for Marketing, Sales and Terminal Operations, in a press conference held Thursday last week.

The 97-meter vessel, which runs at 16.5 knots, has a total passenger capacity of 690 and can accommodate 22 units of buses and trucks.

“With Chelsea as our mother unit backed by the strong Udenna group, we live by our mantra on better shipping, better logistics and better Life. Because with Trans-Asia, At home Ka Sa biyahe!,” Sy said.

She added that considering that this brand new vessel is very expensive, the government however gave them some tax incentives.

She said that conversion of the vessel from a Japanese flag to Philippine flag is now underway and once converted, they will immediately start the operation of the vessel.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino who graced the event said Trans-Asia has been one of the frontrunners in domestic transport in the Visayas and Mindanao and once more it stepped-up its game by adding the M/V Trans Asia 20 to its fleet.

Dino said that the RoRo policy has tremendously improved the transportation industry in the Philippines and has yielded positive results since it started in 2003.

“It has made traveling easier for the ordinary Filipino as this facilitated port-to-port transfers for buses and private cars. It opened more employment opportunities for the working class as the RoRo companies began to emerge. And it also eased up the transportation of goods increasing the profit margin for businesses engaged in inter-island trade,” Dino said.

This policy, Dino said had not only significantly decreased the fees compared to the traditional Load-on, Load-off practice, it also made the transfers faster and more reliable.

He added that this new addition to the fleet, which is a RoPax Vessel will tremendously augment the efficiency and the seamless transfer of vehicles, cargo and passengers.

Dino said that the Philippines, being an archipelago, depends a great deal on maritime transport.

“Because of this, our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte has made the national maritime agenda a priority of his administration,” he said.

Dino said that Duterte’s issuance of Proclamation 316 declaring September as Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (MANA Mo) is a big step to boost the role of the maritime industry in the country’s economic development.

“It is only the first step, it does not stop there. This is only a way of calling out all those concerned about the national maritime industry, both from the public and private sectors to involve themselves and take an active part in the formulation of programs that will lead to the development of the industry,” he said

Moreover, Duterte signed EO 63, which provides that the MARINA should establish systems and mechanisms “for the promotion and protection of the well-being of the seafarers thereby ensuring their professionalism and competitiveness, both in local and international trade.”

The executive order mandates the MARINA, he said, in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education, to evaluate and approve the maritime education programs, which would require compliance with the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

Dino added that Duterte has directed the Philippine Coast Guard to continue in safeguarding the country’s maritime borders and protecting the people from any threats that may come at sea.

As a counterpart to such directive, Duterte reassured them that the government is constantly seeing to strengthen their capabilities by raising the institution’s standards, through streamlined infrastructure and modernized equipment.

“Thus, Trans Asia Shipping Lines is undeniably a part of the development in all locations that it operates here in our country. It’s dynamic leadership and continuous thirst for innovation has made it a business model to be emulated across the country,” Dino further said.

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