The Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) handled a record throughput of over 160,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first half of 2019, a volume growth of over 40% compared with the same period in 2018, according to port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI).
With the increase in first-half volume, ATI said it is on track to surpass its 2018 full-year throughput of nearly 250,000 TEUs.
The port operator noted that the higher volume also meant a reduction of over 80,000 truck trips on Metro Manila roads, as more consignees directly routed their shipments via the South Luzon gateway.
Containerized cargoes handled by BCT are mostly destined for or originate from Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), considered Southern Luzon’s growth corridor and host to multinationals and economic locators.
The volume growth was also attributed to bigger ships and higher trip frequencies of vessels deployed by major international shipping lines to BCT. From seven, 11 weekly carrier services now cater to BCT, directly connecting goods from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and other key regional and global trade hubs to Calabarzon consignees.
Last April, ATI unveiled its expanded berth, which has doubled BCT’s annual capacity to 500,000 TEUs.
Current port operations are supported by four quay cranes and eight rubber-tired gantry cranes, as well as reachstackers, sideloaders, internal transfer vehicles and other cargo-handling equipment, all enabling quicker vessel and truck turnaround.
With such equipment, ATI said BCT can handle two container vessels at any one time, while consignees can pull out containers from the port within 45 minutes from truck entry.
ATI will also break ground a few months from now its new passenger terminal, expected to be operational by 2021.
A 5-hectare empty container depot in Calamba, Laguna that can cater to the needs of both Batangas and Manila ports was also opened.
Last year, ATI inaugurated its multilevel car storage facility, which increased Batangas port’s capacity to 5,400 completely built vehicles.