Taiwan-based carrier Evergreen Marine Corp. has started a new service that connects South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
The South Korea-Taiwan-Philippines (KTP) service plies the ports of Incheon and Kwang Yang, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Batangas, Manila, and Subic, Philippines; and back to Kaohsiung.
Subic Port’s New Container Terminals 1 and 2 serviced Cape Fulmar, Evergreen’s chartered 1,440-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity vessel on its inaugural call to Subic last April 19. Around 400 TEUs were jointly serviced by terminal operators Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) and ICTSI Subic, Inc., both subsidiaries of International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Cape Fulmar is one of the two vessels deployed in the KTP weekly service. The other vessel is the 1,440 TEU-capacity Cape Faro.
“It is our pleasure to have this new service in Subic due to market demand and requests from our current clients in Philippines,” Evergreen executive vice president Paul Huang said in a statement. “We have no doubt that Evergreen can provide the best service to our customers with our good partner, SBITC terminal in Subic Bay.”
SBITC president Roberto Locsin responded: “We are glad that Evergreen has chosen Subic as a key port of call for the KTP service. This is a welcome development as trade between Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines [has] been growing in recent years.”
Taiwan and South Korea are among the Philippines’ major trading partners. Taiwan is the Philippines’ sixth biggest trading partner, facilitating around US$7.85 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2015. Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, where Subic port is situated, hosts 52 Taiwanese companies with $500 million worth of investments and over 12,000 jobs generated.
South Korea, on the other hand, was the Philippines’ fifth largest trading partner in 2015. In 2014, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $13.4 billion, a number that is expected to reach $20 billion over the next five years. This projection has triggered an increase in Korean investments in the Philippines in recent years, with construction, cosmetics, and food companies looking to invest in the country.