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CTAP sees cutthroat competition in 2009

THE Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) expects cutthroat competition next year with even less cargo going around as a result of the global economic crunch.

“2009 will be even tougher for truck operators compared to the past couple of years when we also experienced slowdowns,” CTAP president Col. Rodolfo De Ocampo told PortCalls.

“CTAP has advised members to tighten their belts and look for alternative markets to offset the expected losses,” De Ocampo said.

If the economic crunch becomes long drawn out, the CTAP president sees massive job cuts and company closures.

For now, he’s hoping for more business from the imports sector.

Latest figures from the National Statistics Office, however, could be a source of disappointment. September imports rose only slightly – by 1.9% in September to $9.302 billion from $9.133 billion last year.

Cargo volume has also been slipping since the start of the second quarter of 2008, a clear indication that the Philippines is feeling the pinch of the global economic slowdown.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority showed that total cargo throughput for September reached 109.58 million metric tons (mmt), down 6.86% from 117.65 mmt last year.


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