Home » Ports/Terminals » Security is ICTS’s key concern in 2004

MUCH of the challenge confronting the shipping industry this year will revolve around security.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) senior vice president and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) general manager Francis M. Andrews expects more security measures to be adopted, especially with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code’s implementation in July. Under the International Maritime Organization’s ISPS Code, all ships and ports involved in international trade must develop comprehensive security plans.

MICT General Manager Francis M. Andrews

With four months to go before the Code’s implementation, Andrews said ICTSI has achieved 90% compliance and is positive about attaining full compliance by April. “We have already covered up to the tiniest detail every preparation to ensure safety within the terminal at all times,” he noted.

In support of its security plans, ICTSI will acquire within the year four x-ray machines at P514 million to be stationed at MICT’s entrance and exit points. The company is also establishing a hazardous cargo area. Andrews said putting a premium on safety and security is key to promoting ICTSI’s services. “We must provide a safe and efficient working environment for vessels to turn around and maintain their schedulesÉ so that we, in turn, can maintain or increase our volumes,” he said.

Hand in hand with ensuring safety, ICTSI will further improve operations by deepening the MICT berth to 14 meters from the present 12, allowing it to accept even bigger container vessels. ICTSI expects an 8% volume growth this year even as it anticipates lesser vessel turnaround with bigger newbuildings that offer more capacity. “We don’t mind that as long as volumes go up,” Andrews said. Last year, the North Harbor operator handled 1,104,780 twenty-foot equivalent units, up 5.8% from 2002. “We were pretty bullish last year. This year, we don’t see any reason to assume that we cannot reach our targets. January started out pretty well considering it is traditionally a slow month. We will start building our year through that,” Andrews noted.

Productivity this year is seen at 35 moves an hour compared to last year’s 2 to 33 moves per hour.

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