Home » Maritime » Strong peso slices 15-20% off forwarding business12/21/2009

THE strong peso will be the major growth hurdle for the sea freight forwarding industry this year, according to the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA).

PISFA president Dexter Yu told PortCalls said the strong peso, which appreciated almost 20% last year, aggravated by the lower-than-expected cargo volumes dampened industry growth last year.

“We are really concerned about the peso right now. However, compared to last year we are very optimistic that the local currency will not appreciate as fast or we will face another setback this year,” Yu said.

“Based on our computation, our business was cut approximately 15-20% because of the strong peso,” Yu said.

“Nonetheless, our projection for this year is very positive compared to 2007 and hopefully the peso stabilizes,” he added.

For the past few years, slow cargo movement has hurt sea freight forwarders.

Last year, the Bureau of Customs reported a drop in the volume of cargoes, particularly imports.

A total of 50.08 million metric tons of assorted products entered Philippines ports amounting to P1.79 trillion, down 2% from 2006.

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