Home » Maritime » Subic eyes 150% jump in container cargo by 2012

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects cargo traffic to soar up to 150% by 2012, anchored on the expected increase in foreign investments in the next two years.

The freeport plans to achieve this goal through a massive local and international marketing campaign designed to generate an additional 100 port users and three international carriers, and open three new international shipping routes for the facility.

By 2012, containerized cargo traffic is expected to reach 80,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) or 166% more than the 30,000 TEUs recorded last year. Non-containerized cargo is also forecast to increase by some three million metric tons (mmt) from the annual average of 2.214 mmt.

By 2012, shipcalls are projected at 2,500 or 25% more than the 2009 figure.

In order to support the additional cargo traffic, five warehouses will be built, according to SBMA.

Subic’s container volume has not breached the 40,000-TEU level since 2006. The highest growth rate of 11.7% was posted in 2006 – to 34,602 TEUs from 30,987 TEUs in 2005.

The most number of containers was posted in 2007 at 36,451 TEUs, 5.3% higher than the 34,602 TEUs registered a year earlier.

In the last two years, container throughput has been fixed around the 29,000-TEU level, with 2008 volume only at 29,370 TEUs, down 19.4% from 2008. Last year, volumes dropped a further 0.4%.

For 2010, SBMA expects to handle 28,908 TEUs or 1.17% below the 2009 level. Traffic is seen hitting a peak in December with 3,321 TEUs; it was expected to have slumped this month (1,754 TEUs). Initial estimate for January was at 1,985 TEUs.

Non-container segment

A bright spot has been the non-containerized cargo segment, which has been growing steadily since 2006, up 32.5% to 1.592 mmt that year from 1.201 mmt in 2005. Volumes further grew in 2007 by 19.3% to 1.899 mmt but declined in 2008 by 1.7% to 1.868 mmt.

Last year, volume grew 18.5% to 2.214 mmt, anchored on growth of all non-containerized cargoes save for steel.

For 2010, SBMA projects to handle 2.581 mmt of non-containerized cargo or 16.67% higher than the 2009 figure. The biggest volume is seen in May at 306,248 mt and the lowest in August at 103,567 mt. This month, SBMA is expected to handle 207,412 mt. In January, initial estimates were at 267,687 metric tons.

Aside from joining local and international road shows, SBMA will identify additional investment sites for agri-industrial projects, enforce effective fiscal policy on tariff rates, and develop effective monitoring and collection schemes for seaport revenues in order to boost business.

This year, the actual committed investments for SBMA have amounted to $190 million, almost a quarter down from the $249 million investments in 2008. Two of the notable projects are the P1-billion Regional Leaf Warehouse of cigarette maker Philip Morris for completion in July, and the resort and golf course developed by Heung-A Property Group and Daewoo Securities whose $312-million Phase 1 is set to break ground this month.

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