Cargo throughput handled by Philippine ports in the first four months of 2015 increased 6.34% to 66.6 million metric tons (mmt) from 62.63 mmt posted in the same period of 2014.
In a statement, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said domestic cargoes registered a 6.87% hike to 27.75 mmt for the period, up from 25.97 mmt in January to April 2014.
Foreign cargo volume likewise improved 5.97% to 38.85 mmt from 36.66 mmt a year ago. Import volume rose 7.69% to 22.21 mmt from 20.63 mmt in 2014, while exports grew 3.75% to 16.63 mmt compared with 16.03 mmt posted in 2014.
A substantial increase was observed in the ports of Cotabato, Surigao, and Agusan, posting growths of 436.26%, 75.63% and 55.15%, respectively, due to the higher volume of domestic cargoes, according to PPA general manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana.
The North Harbor is the top performer with a cargo volume share of 8.19 mmt of the nationwide total, followed by Batangas with 7.79 mmt, Bataan/Aurora with 6.15 mmt, and Davao, 4.14 mmt, Sta. Ana said.
Private ports handled 41.21 mmt or 57.38% of total cargo volume nationwide, while government ports accounted for 25.39 mmt or 42.62%.
Containerized cargoes, meanwhile, jumped 9.45% in the January-April 2015 period from 1.73 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014 to 1.9 million TEUs.
Foreign containerized volume rose 10.6% to 1.14 million TEUs from 1.03 million TEUs. Import boxes registered a 5.56% hike to 554,849 TEUs from 525,626 TEUs, while export boxes grew 15.78% to 591,410 TEUs from 510,798 TEUs in 2014.
Domestic boxes also increased in volume 7.76% to 757,065 TEUs from 702,531 TEUs last year.
North Harbor continues to rank first in domestic containerized volume handled during the period with 353,128 TEUs.
The Sasa Wharf in Davao, which used to rank third after North Harbor, only posted 32,295 TEUs as of end April due to the state port’s poor infrastructure, lack of modern cargo-handling equipment and shallow depth. Private commercial ports in Davao, including Davao International Container Terminal, showed an increase in TEUs moved, which PPA said indicates the diversion of container traffic from Sasa to private ports.
The P17-billion Davao-Sasa Port modernization project is up for bidding this year.
The Manila International Container Terminal still handles the largest bulk of foreign containerized cargo with 650,629 TEUs, followed by South Harbor with 280,736 TEUs, and Batangas with 49,055 TEUs.
Passenger volume reached 19.67 million, or 6.84% higher than the volume registered in the same period last year.
Ship calls, however, went down 1% to 115,880 from 117,052 in 2014. Both domestic and foreign ship calls decreased, falling 0.68% and 12.26%, respectively. Though fewer, foreign vessels calling were larger in both size and capacity, PPA noted. – Roumina Pablo