THE country posted its second consecutive increase in cargo throughput this year propelled by a more active foreign trade.
Cargo volume for the first nine months of the year was at 121.098 million metric tons (mmt), 5.74% higher compared to the 114.529 mmt registered for the same period in 2006 (see table).
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) attributed the increase in volume to the 10.35% rise in foreign cargo from 60.825 mmt last year to 67.119 mmt for the period in review.
The greatest increase in foreign volume was recorded at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) (11.18 mmt), Cagayan de Oro (10.66 mmt), Batangas (9.64 mmt), Surigao (5.78 mmt) and South Harbor (5.0 mmt).
Exports grew 25.94% from 21.754 mmt to 27.398 mmt while imports posted a 1.66% increase from 39.071 mmt to 39.721 mmt.
Domestic cargo volume also saw a modest increase of 0.51% for the nine-month period from 53.704 mmt to 53.980 mmt.
Container traffic continued its uptrend, increasing 6.26% to 2.912 million TEUs from 2.740 million TEUs again due to the active movement of foreign cargoes.
The overall foreign containerized shipments rose almost 12% from 1.530 million TEUs last year to 1.709 million TEUs.
Import containerized cargoes grew 11.32%, and export boxes 12.02% from 756,115 TEUs to 846,982 TEUs for the period.
The PPA said the increase was mostly felt at the North Harbor, South Harbor, the MICT, and the ports of Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
Domestic containerized cargoes, however, retreated 0.58% from 1.210 million TEUs to 1.202 million TEUs this year due to the preference of shippers to using the roll on-roll off highway.
Shipcalls inched up 2.31% for the period compared to last year. Domestic shipcalls increased 2.24% from 220,675 to 225,610, and foreign shipcalls 4.54% from 7,248 to 7,577.
Passenger traffic also rose 3.40% or 1.08 million due to impressive growth in Batangas (21.32%), Calapan, Mindoro (17.37%), and Tagbilaran (8.73%).
For September alone, cargo traffic was down 1.96%, while containerized cargoes, passengers and shipcalls managed to increase 1.39%, 2.23% and 2.92%, respectively.
The volume of foreign containerized cargoes in Cagayan de Oro surged 52.26% but the combined foreign cargoes in all other Northern Mindanao ports for September dropped 24.54%.