THE Davao Integrated Port and Stevedoring Services, Corp. (DIPSSCOR) has reached the 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) annual mark for the first time.
DIPSSCOR, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc and the cargo-handling operator of Sasa Wharf in Davao, reached the milestone when it unloaded the 20-footer APZU 4427290 from American President Lines’ (APL) 1,341-TEU Montana.
“With the 200,000th container, Sasa Wharf is now the leading port in southern Philippines. We are confident that Davao will become a major international port in Southeast Asia in the next few years especially with the increasing volumes from foreign trade,” DIPSSCOR general manager Manuel De Jesus said.
He added that new and bigger vessels are berthing at the terminal and investments are underway to further improve the terminal’s operations, facilities and equipment to address bigger volumes and vessels.
Foreign trade constitutes 80% of volumes handled by DIPSSCOR.
Last year, DIPSSCOR serviced 10 maiden calls of foreign containerships within the 800- to 1,400-TEU range. The vessels had increased on-board reefer outlets to sustain Davao’s increasing fruit exports.
Vessel upgrades of foreign lines translated to a combined 34% increase in the port’s monthly average capacity.
DIPSSCOR serves five international carriers at the Sasa Wharf — APL, Maersk, Regional Container Lines, Malaysian International Shipping Co, and Mariana Express Lines. It services an average of nine vessels weekly.
To boost its handling capacity, DIPPSCOR recently took delivery of a 45-tonner reach stacker from Kalmar. The equipment is the latest addition to the port’s container handling fleet of two stackers and two top lifters.
“We have already placed an order for a fourth stacker, and we expect delivery by the second quarter. This will further enhance our capability and readiness for the projected volumes in the short term before we go to our committed next step of deploying mobile harbor cranes once the structural testing procedures of Sasa’s quay have been completed,” De Jesus said.
“We are not only committed to our shipping line clients but to the economy of Mindanao. Sasa Wharf is in the best position to serve growing trade in southern Philippines,” he added.