Home » Maritime » 2009 cargo throughput up 3.38%

PHILIPPINE cargo throughput grew 3.38% to 150.732 million metric tons (mmt) in 2009 from 145 mmt in 2008, thanks to a substantial improvement in export volumes in the last two months of last year.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed both domestic and foreign cargoes handled in 2009 improved from the previous year. Domestic cargoes were higher by 415,644 metric tons to 72 mmt while foreign cargoes grew 6.08% to 78.595 mmt.

Of the foreign cargoes, 47 mmt represented imports and 30.798 mmt exports, up 0.83% and 15.42%, respectively.

The port of Surigao had an outstanding year, handling 10.99 mmt, a surge of 56.23% compared to 2008. Other ports with double-digit growth were Nasipit, Pulupandan, Batangas and Calapan.

PPA said the increase in foreign cargo volume was attributed to a substantial hike in export products such as sugar and molasses from the port of Pulupandan; limestone from Tagbilaran; nickel ores and scrap metals from Surigao; petroleum, cement and transport equipment from Nasipit; and animal feeds, fertilizers and agriculture products from General Santos.

Of the total cargo throughput for the entire 2009, 31.31% was jointly handled by the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the South Harbor which had a combined volume of 22.46 mmt.

Government ports accounted for 49.28 mmt or 68.69% of the total.

Containerized cargo was recorded at 3.995 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), down 2.67% from last year. Foreign container cargo traffic reached 2.4 million TEUs, a 4.54% dip.

Domestic containers, on the other hand, inched up 0.32% to 1.586 million TEUs.

“The increase in domestic container cargo was mainly due to the growth in demand for shipment of inbound and outbound vans carrying break-bulk cargoes and various commodities intended for export as well as increase in the volume of sugar, cement, fertilizer and marine products transported during the period,” PPA said in a report.

The bulk of last year’s container cargo passed through South Harbor and the MICP with a combined volume of 2.232 million TEUs and accounting for 58.51% of the total volume. The rest passed through from government ports.

In another development, the PPA asked arrastre and stevedoring operators at the Manila International Container Terminal and the South Harbor to remit 10% of their gross income from weighbridge operations for containers and ro-ro vehicles to PPA.

PPA earlier ordered all outbound containers and ro-ro vehicles, both foreign and domestic, for loading onto a carrying vessel to undergo mandatory weighing at the port of loading to ensure compliance with the allowable container weight and prescribed gross vehicle weight.

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