CAMIGUIN ISLAND — US firm Del Monte Fresh is sinking in at least $1 million to operate a cold storage facility in the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) port. The facility will be operated in partnership with Oro Port , CDO port’s cargo-handling operator.
In an interview at one of the recent stops during the Central Nautical Highway Ro-Ro Caravan, CDO port manager Efren Bollozos said the port expects an increase in cargo throughput even as it sees more competition from nearby port Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT). MCT will soon be operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc, which won the competitive bidding.
The cold storage facility will occupy 4,000 out of the unused 5,000 square meters of the port’s container freight station.
“We anticipate to open the cold storage facility within the second semester of the year, initially accommodating shipments of Del Monte only,” Bollozos said.
“We expects at least a 5% increase in our throughput once the new cold storage facility starts full commercial operations,” he added.
Del Monte Fresh imports at least 200 TEUs a week of fresh pineapples from its 10,000-hectare Philippine plantation in northern Mindanao.
Its local subsidiary Del Monte Philippines is also looking at shipping pineapples in containers through the CDO port aside from its own private port.
Cagayan de Oro, one of 10 Philippine ports being groomed to have international standards by 2010, expects to hike cargo throughput by 5% annually or 150,000 metric tons starting this year until 2010.
The growth forecast is one of the highest among the country’s ports, anchored on the area’s robust agro-industrial, steel and manufacturing sectors.
Up to 571,807 metric tons of cargo are expected to come from the domestic trade and 86,092 metric tons from the foreign trade.
From 2008 to 2010, domestic cargo is seen rising by 30,000 metric tons annually and foreign cargo by 5,000 metric tons annually.
CDO has posted negative cargo volume in recent years. From a 12% increase in 2004, throughput dropped more than 16% to –4% in 2005.