Ph cargo throughput up 11% in Jan-July as passage sector remains strong

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 22, 2016—Philippine cargo volume continue its strong performance climbing another 11% in the first 7 months of the year compared to the figure posted last year.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that total cargo throughput reached 141.770 million metric tons (mmt) this year from 128.217 mmt registered in the first 7-month figure of 2015. Foreign cargo volume inch-up 12% to 86.302 mmt while domestic traffic recorded a 9% rise.

Similarly, passenger volume registered an 11% hike to 42.492 million for the period in review from 38.213 million last year. Foreign passengers dominated the increase in traffic after posting a 69% increase to 71,514 passengers while domestic passenger volume posted an 11% hike to 42.420 million passengers.

“The strong performance of the cargo segment underscores the country’s economic resilience,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago 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,” Santiago stressed.

“Nonetheless, despite the surging numbers, we guarantee that our ports remain clogged-free and can accommodate the increasing cargo, passenger and shipcall volumes,” Santiago added.

Santiago also said that the ports of Agusan, Mindoro, Panay/Guimaras, NCR North, and Negros Oriental/Siquijor posted the biggest growth percentage in local and foreign cargo while North Harbor remains as the top performer in terms of domestic cargo volume.

Containerized cargo traffic, meanwhile, soar 9% for the period in review to 3.676 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 3.368 million TEUs last year wherein both foreign and domestic boxes registered a 9% hike to 2.203 million TEUs and 1.473 million TEUs, respectively.

The Manila International Container Terminal Services, Inc. remains as the country’s top handler of foreign boxes processing 1.241 million TEUs for the period in review followed by the Manila South Harbor handling 584,598 TEUs. As expected, the North Harbor is tops in terms of domestic boxes handled with 696,495 TEUs.

Shipcalls for the period, on the other hand, went up by 9% or from 234,468 in 2015 to 255,037 this year. Domestic and foreign shipcalls grew by 8.45% and 21.91%, respectively.

As of the moment, combined yard utilization at the two Manila ports is at 40% or approximately 32,600 TEUs are inside the terminals while yard productivity remains high ranging from 20-30 moves an hour. The efficient yard management for both terminals is attributed partly to the truck Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) imposed recently that catapulted port efficiency by at least 96%. Prior to the TABS, the average daily gateouts at the Manila ports is at 4,500 to 5,000 TEUs as compared to the post-TABS imposition of 7,000 to 7,500 TEUs daily gateouts.

“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.