Home » Maritime » Gordon: Hub and spoke is best for the Philippines

THE hub-and-spoke is the best scheme for the country’s shipping industry, according to Senator and presidential aspirant Richard Gordon.

The hub-and-spoke model is a system of connections, in which all traffic moves along spokes connected to the hub at the center. It makes transportation much more efficient by greatly simplifying a network of routes.

Compared with the current environment where every politician wants a port constructed in their district, the adoption of hub-and-spoke will drastically reduce government spending for ports, Gordon said before maritime stakeholders at a Presidential Forum organized by the Joint Manning Groups last week. Two other presidential candidates, Sen. Benigno Aquino III and JC delos Reyes, attended the forum.

Ideal hub ports, according to Gordon, are Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Davao.

He said smaller ports should complement the operation of hub ports by concentrating on short-haul services rather that directly competing with hubs.

The presidential aspirant has unwittingly found an ally in the Philippine Interisland Shipping Association (PISA). The association has been batting for the hub-and-spoke model since early 2000.

PISA said the scheme will mean much savings in fuel and travel time. This is in contrast to vessels wasting fuel and travel time on long-haul routes but obtaining no better than an average 50% capacity utilization carrying non-revenue empty containers mostly on their return voyage.

Aside from the hub-and-spoke system, Gordon also batted for the phase out of wooden-hull ships to prevent maritime accidents.

For his part, Sen. Aquino said he will subject to further study proposals to lift the Cabotage Law. He cautioned against drastic abolition of the measure, considering bigger and more developed nations have not lifted or have no plans to lift their own Cabotage Law.

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