Cebu port posts 3% hike in 2017 container volume


Container traffic at Cebu ports grew 2.9% in 2017 to 914,520 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 888,249 TEUs in 2016, data from Cebu Port Authority (CPA) showed.

The 9.5% growth in domestic containers was more than enough to offset the 5.9% decline in foreign boxes.

Domestic containerized cargoes grew to 548,910 TEUs from 501,169 TEUs in 2016, while foreign boxes decreased to 365,610 TEUs from 387,080 TEUs.

Volume of non-containerized cargoes rose 8.8% to 39.412 million metric tons (mmt) versus the 36.202 mmt recorded in 2016. Of the total, domestic cargoes posted a 12% increment to 31.438 mmt from 27.969 mmt in 2016. Foreign cargoes, on the other hand, dropped 3.1% to 7.975 mmt from 8.233 mmt in 2016.

More ships called in 2017 with 136,505 vessels, 5.9% higher than the 128,906 vessels in 2016. Of the total, 135,367 were domestic ships, which was a 6% increase from the 127,743 domestic calls in 2016. Foreign ship calls, however, dropped 2.1% to 1,138 from 1,163.

Passenger traffic, meanwhile, jumped 3.7% to 20.946 million from 20.199 million.

With container traffic almost hitting the 1-million TEU mark, CPA general manager Angelo Verdan told PortCalls in a text message that since last year, the port authority has started reconfiguring the Cebu International Port (CIP) by demolishing some structures and consolidating offices. He said this will translate to some 1.2 hectares of free space.

Moreover, another 1,000 square meters of free space will be available after the filling up of a vacant area beside the river is completed by the last quarter of this year.

Last February, CPA and Cebu International Port (CIP) cargo-handling operator Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation signed the permit to construct a finger pier in CIP to increase its berthing capacity.

These measures are being done while CPA awaits the construction of a new international terminal in Consolacion, Cebu, which is expected to address growing volumes in the main terminal. Verdan said the project is just waiting the signing of the loan agreement between the governments of the Philippines and South Korea. – Roumina Pablo