WHILE the global financial crisis is bottoming out, recovery is still nowhere in sight, according to the Philippine Ship Agents Association (PSAA).
PSAA president Abraham Tablizo told PortCalls some laid-up vessels in the country are beginning to be recommissioned by some international vessel operators, suggesting an increase in cargo volumes.
While vessel idling continues, operators are opting for hot rather than cold layups, he said. The former refers to vessels parked for a short period of time with a full crew while the latter refers to vessels parked longer with almost no crew.
“The current condition,” Tablizo noted, “is far from stabilizing. However, we have seen some activity, suggesting that the crisis is bottoming out in the country.”
International vessel calls in the Philippines are down 20% in the first four months of the year, estimated Tablizo. “But we expect this to narrow in the next few months if (economic) progress continues,” he added.
The number of ships laid up in Subic Bay has been reduced by about 50% from a high of 30 in the last few months. A reduction has also been noted in Davao.