Manila, Subic and Osaka shipping route eyed

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Delegates from the Osaka Ports and Harbor Bureau and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials during the former's visit on February 8. Photo from SBMA.
  • The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the Osaka Ports and Harbor Bureau are mulling a shipping route connecting the ports of Manila, Subic, and Osaka to increase trade and cargo volumes between Japan and the Philippines
  • The SBMA and OPHB are exploring cooperation possibilities in port-related business while tapping the potential of both ports in initiating cargo traffic between the Port of Osaka and the Subic port
  • Cargo volume at Subic port reached 6.4 million metric tons in 2023 with lumber, tires and motor vehicles as the top commodities both for import and export

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Osaka Ports and Harbor Bureau (OPHB) are mulling a shipping route connecting the ports of Manila, Subic, and Osaka to increase trade and cargo volume between Japan and the Philippines.

SBMA chairman and administrator Eduardo Jose Aliño in a statement said his agency and OPHB are exploring cooperation possibilities in port-related business while tapping the potential of both ports in initiating cargo traffic between the Port of Osaka and the Subic port.

His statement comes after the recent visit to SBMA by representatives from the OPHB.

Aliño added they are now seeking to develop a Manila-Subic-Osaka route with major shipping lines to increase trade and cargo volume between the Philippines and Japan, one of the country’s top trading partners.

OPHB director general Maruyama Junya said the visit to Subic Bay Freeport is an opportunity to share information on port development, port management, and logistics, and to promote mutual exchanges.

“Osaka Port has developed as an international trade port with industrial and financial development in the Kansai area. We are working actively on further development through improving port facilities and carrying out port sales,” Junya said.

“In 2023, we have decided to focus on the Philippines, one of the Southeast Asian countries that has been developing remarkably against a backdrop of high economic growth in recent years, and organized a port sales team with Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation and other transport companies,” he added.

The OPHB executive said during the Philippine Investment Forum 2023 last November, a lecture and interview with SBMA business and investment department for manufacturing and maritime manager Karen Magno “triggered our great interest in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.”

According to SBMA senior deputy administrator Ronnie Yambao, cargo volume at Subic port  reached 6.4 million metric tons in 2023 with lumber, tires and motor vehicles as the top commodities both for import and export.

“By expanding our network and developing this new shipping route, we are also providing more economic opportunities that will increase our trade and cargo volume between our ports,” Yambao said.

The OPHB delegation also included representatives from port and harbor transportation business operators such as Sumitomo Warehouse Co.; Tatsumi Shokai Co., Ltd.; Nissin Corporation; Konoike Transport Co., Ltd.; Sankyu Inc.; Shosen Koun Co., Ltd.; Nippon Express Co., Ltd.; and Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation.