Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » PH cargo volume up but freight rates still down

International cargo volume may be inching up in the run-up to Christmas but freight rates have not been able to keep pace with the increase.

A PortCalls source affiliated with an international shipping line said cargo throughput in the country’s main international gateways Manila International Container Terminal and Manila South Harbor grew more than 17% at the start of the month on the back of high import volume.

Similar increases were also reportedly seen in the Cebu and Davao ports, according to the source who did not want to be named.

“Imports are starting to go up significantly nationwide compared to last year in preparation for the Christmas season. We expect this trend to continue until end-2012. Our main concern, however, is the declining freight rate… this will offset whatever growth we would normally post from higher volume.”

He added, “The anemic export volume is also a concern but we have already seen an uptick in volume and expect (exports) to gain ground in the next couple of weeks.”

Freight rates are down at least 20%, softened somewhat by the 15% higher bunker adjustment factor, according to the source.

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