MNHPI reports good 2013 results as new equipment lifts productivity

Manila North Harbour Port, Inc chief executive officer Richard Barclay
Manila North Harbour Port, Inc chief executive officer Richard Barclay
Manila North Harbour Port, Inc chief executive officer Richard Barclay

Port operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI) recorded a “good performance” in 2013 with higher revenues and new accounts as it pursued work on modernizing the country’s premier domestic port.

Net income surged 74% year-on-year to P305 million from P175 million, primarily due to higher container volumes and revenue from new services such as the operation of its quay cranes, among others.

MNHPI noted that the use of higher-capacity equipment and quay cranes in the latter part of 2013 helped lift the port’s productivity. The rise in utilization of the port was also brought about by the consolidation of shipping lines at Manila North Harbor, in particular the 2GO Group and the Super Shuttle roll-on/roll-off services of the Asian Marine Transport Corp., MNHPI chief executive officer Richard Barclay told PortCalls in an interview.

For the first quarter of 2014, North Port handled 251,697 twenty-foot equivalent units of containerized cargoes, 426,898 metric tons of break-bulk cargoes, 19,372 mt of bulk cargoes, and 310, 328 passengers.

MNHPI’s volume outlook for the year is 1.014 million TEUs, higher than the 897,860 TEUs generated in 2013.

Aspiring to become “the country’s premier port”, North Port has finished major projects of its Phase 1 development program.

Barclay said major civil works such as the retrofitting works and installation of crane rails at the Marine Slipway/Pier 16, container yard, consolidated passenger terminal complex, Pier 4 and Pier 10 south-side bulkhead and pavement rehabilitation, and the power center had either been completed or in their final stages of completion.

MNHPI has also commenced construction of the very first MNHPI Operations Center – a two-storey, one-stop shop that will house satellite offices of domestic shipping lines, the Philippine Ports Authority, and other port stakeholders.

The goal is to consolidate transactions in one place, facilitate faster port transactions and in effect, “reduce the number of people walking within the terminal,” Barclay said.
The operator expects phasing in of the operations center will start by the fourth quarter of this year with full operations by the first quarter of 2015, weather-permitting, Barclay said.

MNHPI is likewise working on a swipe card system so payments for transactions of shipping lines are credited or debited directly from their bank accounts at no cost.
The company has completed major infrastructure projects and is only awaiting the necessary clearances to start reclamation works of Slipway 15, the port executive said.

For all the civil works, equipment and IT system, MNHPI has spent close to P4.9 billion of the approximately P6.8 billion worth of works contracted as of March this year, with capital expenditure for 2014 expected at the P1 billion level.

Two new cranes are expected to be delivered by the second quarter. Orders for six new rubber-tired gantry cranes have also been put in place.

Last year, the operator put in place new cranes expected to further boost productivity three times over.

MNHPI now averages 20-35 moves per hour (unloading cargoes), and 15-25 (handling outbound cargoes) on those cranes. But in April a feat was accomplished when one of its operators averaged 38 moves.

IT-wise, MNHPI is about to sign a contract for a NAVIS N4 terminal operating system, the latest in the NAVIS series.

Effects of truck ban
Even before the Manila truck ban took effect in late February, MNHPI had increased the truck parking area slots at Terminal 1 from 150 to 430, Barclay said.

The truck ban has increased dwell time of cargoes to approximately 1 to 2 days as well as increased capacity utilization. There is also additional truck queuing inside the port, he noted.

Pushing cargoes to Batangas and Subic is “good”, the port executive said, although he thinks “a more efficient access road”, specifically a “port connector road”, would have a greater impact.

“Congestion inside the port is caused by the lack of infrastructure outside the port,” Barclay pointed out. –– Text and photo by Roumina M. Pablo