Home » Ports/Terminals » ATI improving yard space at South Harbor as volumes grow rapidly

 

South Harbor has been achieving record volume growth for the past few years, finally breaching the 1-million TEU mark last year. For this year, they expect volumes to reach 1.15 million to 1.20 million TEUs from the 1.10 million TEUs recorded in 2017. Photo courtesy of Asian Terminals Inc.

Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) is expanding the yard capacity of Manila South Harbor to 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually in anticipation of continued increased in volumes.

The port operator is developing existing land and reclaiming areas near Engineering Island to create space for more than 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of additional space and thus increase Manila South Harbor’s annual capacity from 1.25 million TEUs to 1.6 million TEUs.

The continuous expansion projects are to prepare for expected higher volumes at Manila South Harbor as trends show the increase in throughout will continue, ATI commercial and marketing manager Reginald Rivera said in a speech during the recent Port of Manila: Customs and Port Updates forum organized by PortCalls and Asia Customs and Trade.

By late 2018, ATI will be opening up Blocks 143 and 145 to accommodate an additional 3,000 TEUs of empty containers for repositioning. Another additional space eyed for empty box stacking is the truck holding area since it has been servicing less- and even no-waiting trucks with the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System, Rivera said.

The port operator has also scheduled dredging works before the year ends to deepen the draft to 13 meters from 12 meters and allow the port to accommodate bigger vessels.

ATI is also the country’s first home port for a cruise on the Superstar Virgo. Rivera said this means Filipinos no longer have to go to Singapore or Hong Kong to join a cruise. Superstar Virgo’s service is seasonal, and its itinerary for its five-day cruise experience from Manila includes Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, and some ports in Japan.

Rivera said South Harbor has been achieving record volume growth for the past few years, finally breaching the 1-million TEU mark last year. For this year, they expect volumes to reach 1.15 million to 1.20 million TEUs from the 1.10 million TEUs recorded in 2017.

The continued expansion of the port is actually part of ATI’s concession agreement with the Philippine Ports Authority. Completed yard side and gantry side expansion has resulted in a 30% increase in capacity for empty boxes and 17% growth for laden boxes. This expansion was complemented by additional equipment, Rivera noted, including two additional quay cranes that were delivered last March 23. Currently, South Harbor has nine quay cranes, 23 rubber-tired gantry cranes, five reach stackers, 19 side loaders, and 68 internal transfer vehicles.

Rivera, meanwhile, is encouraging port users to take advantage of automated systems that ATI has made available to allow better transactions.

ATI rolled out years ago its electronic payment facility, which Rivera noted “has not been able to get critical users.” He noted that the e-payment facility aims to take away the need for port users to go to the port and to encourage cashless payments.

ATI has also launched MPort (Mobile Port), an application that lets users see the status of their boxes at the port. The application includes vessel schedule, container inquiry, empty quota, manifest inquiry, cargo truck status, demurrage/delivery order status, and TABS inquiry. The application can be downloaded from Google and Apple stores.

Since 2016, Rivera said, more accounts have been gravitating towards South Harbor. There are now 19 shipping lines calling the port at least twice a week from the previous 12 carriers with once-a-week service.

For 2017, lifts grew at a rate of around 5.38%, while exports grew 16.64% and imports improved 11.7%.

Rivera said the improvements indicate that port users, especially shipping lines, “are getting the deliverables, the efficiencies that they would expect from a terminal operator.” He added that all of this is also because of their team effort as well as the help from their users and the Bureau of Customs. – Roumina Pablo

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