Exports spur growth in Ph total cargo throughput in Jan-Sept period

NOVEMBER 2, 2016, MANILA—Philippine exports posted the highest growth percentage in cargo volume pulling up the country’s total cargo throughput higher by 9% in the first 9 months of the year.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that throughput reached 183.730 million metric tons (mmt) as compared to the 168.074 mmt registered in the same period last year.

Foreign volume posted a 12.72% rise in traffic anchored on the 15% increase in export volume from 47.945 mmt in 2015 to 55.134 mmt for the period in review. Similarly, import volume also posted a double-digit hike of 10.75% from 55.490 mmt to 61.459 mmt for the January to September period.

“This is a great indication that Philippine exporters are gearing up to compete in the international market and would not be left out in the run-up to Christmas,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago explained.

“Likewise, the double-digit growth in the import volume suggests that imported Christmas cargoes have also started to come in,” Santiago said.

“However, even with the strong performance of both sectors, our ports remain to operate under optimum condition and we do not expect any slowdown in the movement at any given time,” Santiago added.

Domestic volume, meanwhile, posted a modest growth of 3.87% to 67.139 mmt from 64.638 mmt last year.

The increases in cargo volume were observed at the ports of Agusan, Mindoro, Bicol, Western Leyte/Biliran and Negros Oriental/Siquijor. The North Port remains as the top performer in terms of domestic cargo volume with a share of 17.87 mmt or 24.8% of the total domestic volume and 9.73% of the total cargo throughput nationwide followed by Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga.

Container traffic, on the other hand, registered a 9.36% increase in volume for the period in review with 4.684 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared to the 4.283 million TEUs processed in the same period last year.

Foreign boxes dominated the containerized traffic after posting an 11.51% hike with volume reaching 2.869 million TEUs as compared to the 2.573 million TEUs handled in 2015 while domestic cargoes reached 1.814 million TEUs or 6.12% higher than the 1.710 million TEUs posted last year. Of the total foreign containers, import boxes totaled 1.450 million TEUs while export boxes reached 1.419 million TEUs, increasing 13.97% and 9.11%, respectively.

As expected, the North Port ranked first in terms of volume of domestic boxes handled during the period with 906,519 TEUs while the Manila International Container Terminal handled the bulk of the foreign containerized cargoes with 1.602 million TEUs followed by the Manila South Harbor with 774,692 TEUs and Davao at 306,203 TEUs.

The Philippines also continues its rise in the cruise tourism industry after passenger volume soared 10.7% to 49.619 million anchored on the 35.78% increase in foreign passenger volume registering 73,348 from only 54,021 foreign passengers last year. Domestic passenger traffic, meanwhile, posted a 10.71% rise to 49.545 million passengers from 44.752 million passengers last year.

Shipcalls for the period went up by 7.26% or from 286,166 in 2015 to 306,949 this year. Domestic and foreign shipcalls grew by 6.99% and 17.67%, respectively.