BATANGAS Port operator Asian Terminals, Inc-Batangas (ATI-B) expects a 5% growth in bulk and breakbulk cargo volume next year, following good volumes this year despite the global economic crisis.
This is according to Batangas Port manager Alex Cruz during a roundtable discussion with various transport stakeholders last week.
Cruz said growth will primarily come from key port clients such as Fortune Cement, Swire and FertiPhil and complemented by active car shipments also seen as continuing to be strong until next year.
“Volume from Fortune Cement is expected to be 315,000 metric tons by next year from 300,000 metric tons this year while fertilizers are forecast to be at 36,000 metric tons,” he said.
A potential volume boost could come from “another car company which already expressed intention to drop its car shipments at the port, hopefully as early as toward the end of this year,” Cruz added.
To date, three car manufacturers – Toyota, Hyundai and General Motors – ship their completely built-up units at the port. Each company averages 500 units per vessel per week or about 2,000 units a month.
Local agents of the car shippers are Fair Shipping, Wallem, NYK and Transmar.
Cruz said they are also keeping their fingers crossed that container volumes will start to pick up toward the end of the year.
The Philippine Ports Authority is looking at awarding the 25-year management and operation contract for Batangas port before yearend.
Cruz said privatizing the port will not be as hard as North Harbor, considering only the issue of proposed variable fees is in question. The capability of the two eligible bidders – International Container Terminal Services, Inc and Asian Terminals, Inc – is beyond doubt, he added.
The submission of bids is set within the month (November) and awarding will be a month later.