Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » SCTEX hurting, not helping, Subic ports — SBMA chief

Instead of bringing in more volume to Subic ports, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) north of Manila has inadvertently caused the opposite and is luring away cargoes from Subic and funneling them to Manila, according Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza.

Compared to the old highway connecting Manila and Subic, SCTEX has cut travel time to the two areas in half, making the savings in time more a plus for Manila instead of Subic ports.

“I am not saying that the SCTEX is not beneficial to SBMA,” Arreza said, “however, instead of bringing in more cargoes to the Freeport, it is taking away our usual clients.

“Shippers from our adjacent areas are now shipping their cargoes via Manila ports instead of Subic.”

Arreza added, “This is our dilemma; we are now rethinking our strategy on how to counter the sudden shift in shipping from Subic to Manila.”

One clear example, according to Arreza, is the case of Philip Morris. While the cigarette maker maintains a distribution facility at SBMA, it still uses Manila ports and just transships containers to its Subic warehouse.

Industry insiders point to the lack of direct calls to Subic as also having a hand in why shippers still prefer to ship through Manila.

Earlier, SBMA asked government to defer expansion of Manila ports to give Subic and Batangas ports a chance to develop their respective volumes.

Annual traffic at Subic is 30,000 to 36,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, practically the same in the last 10 years.

 

Photo by ewen and donabel

 


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