Home » Customs & Trade, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Cebu ports container volume up 12.6% in first quarter

Containerized cargoes handled at Cebu ports grew 12.6% to 243,961 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first quarter of 2019 from 216,604 TEUs in the same period last year as both domestic and foreign traffic recorded increases, initial data from the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) showed.

Domestic containers, which contributed 58% of the total, increased 8% to 141,679 TEUs from 131,083 TEUs in the first three months of 2018.

Foreign containers recorded double-digit growth of 19.6% to 102,282 TEUs from 85,521 TEUs in the previous year.

Majority of foreign containerized cargoes, or 102,282 TEUs, went through Cebu International Port (CIP), while 105,417 TEUs of the total domestic volume were handled at Pier 4.

Non-containerized cargoes, meanwhile, improved 7% in the first quarter of this year to 10.79 million metric tons (mt) from 10.081 million mt in the same period last year.

Domestic non-containerized shipments, accounting for 79% of the total, rose 7.4% to 8.573 million mt from 7.980 million mt. Foreign non-containerized cargoes increased 5.5% to 2.216 million mt from 2.101 million mt.

Vessels calling the Visayas hub grew 12% to 36,404 ships in the first three months of the year from the 32,514 ship calls in the same period last year.

Domestic ship calls, which accounted for 99% of the total, jumped 12% to 36,141 vessels from 32,262 vessels. Foreign ship calls improved 4.4% to 263 vessels from 252 previously.

Passenger traffic, meanwhile, increased 3.9% to 5.286 million passengers from 5.089 million passengers.

CPA earlier said it is expanding berths 7 and 8 of the Cebu base port to allow quay cranes to be installed and to improve the productivity of domestic shipping lines calling the port.

Private cargo-handling operator Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation, in cooperation with CPA, is also implementing a series of projects to further expand capacity at CIP in view of the growing volumes handled by the terminal.

Aside from expanding the capacity of the main port, the Department of Transportation last year started inviting bidders to provide consultancy services for the New Cebu International Container Port project.

A new international terminal is seen as the long-term solution to the growing volumes handled at CIP, the current base port. It is seen not only to free up the base port but also to enhance the transport infrastructure system to allow for the unimpeded flow of goods and services in the Visayas. Several feasibility studies, the most recent one by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, suggest locating the new sea hub in Tayud, Consolacion, some 8 kilometers from the Cebu base port. – Roumina Pablo

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