Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Bidder status of Davao port cargo handler still unclear

DIPSSCOR, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc, is Sasa Wharf's current cargo handler.

DAVAO CITY, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has yet to decide whether it will automatically consider Davao Integrated Port Stevedoring Services, Corp (DIPSSCOR) as qualified bidder for the privatization of Sasa Wharf in Davao port in the island grouping of Mindanao.

DIPSSCOR, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc, is the port’s current cargo handler. The port is up for privatization not later than 2013 but DIPSSCOR’s contract expires in 2016 still.

“We still do not know whether we can grant them (DIPSSCOR) that (automatic qualified bidder) status or if they have to undergo the same process as other prospective bidders for the port,” PPA port district manager for Southern Mindanao Christian Santillan said. “But we are making sure there won’t be any aggrieved partly with this privatization process.”

Davao port has seen volume increases of 7-10% every year for the last eight years, Santillan said, adding this kind of growth stresses the need to immediately privatize the facility.

About 70% of products shipped through the port are bananas from Davao and nearby areas.

According to the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, the Philippines was the world’s fourth-largest exporter of bananas in 2010 after Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia.

Shipping lines operating in Davao said the country’s banana exports are in danger due to port inefficiencies, including the lack of proper cargo-handling equipment to service large vessels calling Davao port.

From January to October, Davao port handled 4.46 million metric tons, of which 2.78 million metric tons were foreign cargoes. Container shipments reached 478,994 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the period.

The PPA earlier said it needs P3.98 billion to expand Davao port, including to strengthen Berths 1 and 2, develop container yard 3, demolish existing buildings, develop 300 container yard reefer outlets, supply and install four gantry cranes, and install eight rubber-tired gantry cranes.

The expansion will increase the port’s capacity to 1.3 million TEUs, double the current capacity.

Photo from http://www.ictsi.com/media_relations.aspx?content=1&p_id=2&news_id=944&paging=1&archive=0

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