Home » Breaking News, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » PH ports see 7.4% hike in first-half volume

Photo courtesy of Manila North Harbour Port, Inc.

Cargo volume handled by Philippine ports in the first semester of 2017 rose 7.42% due to a favorable business climate, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Almost all aspects of cargo operations, except for loose export cargoes, posted positive performance for January to June 2017, PPA said in a statement.

Mindanao ports likewise posted increases for the period despite security issues, including those relating to ongoing skirmishes in Marawi City that began late May.

Latest data from PPA showed that total cargo volume reached 125.805 million metric tons (mmt) in the first six months of this year, up from 117.118 mmt in the same period last year. Domestic volume posted an 8.79% growth while foreign volume recorded a 6.51% hike. Imports went up 11.41% while exports declined slightly by 0.61%.

Container throughput during the period topped the 2016 figure of 3.113 million TEUs by 12.05% to reach 3.489 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Foreign container traffic improved 11.05% to 2.073 million TEUs from 1.867 million TEUs, while domestic container volume increased 13.55% to 1.414 million TEUs compared to 1.246 million TEUs a year ago.

“Port traffic sustained its growth momentum, propelled by the surging domestic demand as well as private investment, which drove economy- wide growth in view of the government’s expansionary fiscal policy stance,” PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago explained.

“The more efficient movement of cargoes in and out of the Manila ports as a result of the implementation of Terminal Appointment Booking System and other decongestion measures paved the way for the sustained efficient operations of the ports,” Santiago added.

Productivity, specifically at Manila Ports—composed of Manila South Harbor, Manila North Harbor, and Manila International Container Terminal—remained healthy during the period with a combined yard utilization of 53%, berth occupancy rate of 57%, and quay crane productivity of 26 moves per crane per hour.

“Mindanao ports, particularly those in Northern Mindanao, continued to show growth notwithstanding the ongoing security concerns in the region,” Santiago said.

Northern Mindanao ports, composed of Iligan, Ozamiz, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Surigao, handled a total of 112.575 mmt. Container traffic for the region’s ports registered a 5.33% hike from 173,191 TEUs in 2016 to 182,433 TEUs for the period covered.

Passenger traffic registered growth of 1.86% to 38.583 million from 37.879 million passengers in 2016, driven by intensified volume of travelers during the Holy Week as well as the continuous reliance by the sea-traveling public on roll-on/roll-off vessels, fastcraft, and motorized bancas as primary modes of transportation for domestic inter-island connectivity.

PPA said the positive stream of passengers served at the ports may have also stemmed from the favorable public response to the government’s domestic eco-tourism programs encouraging leisure inter-island ro-ro travel to tourist destinations such as Siargao, Puerto Galera, Bohol, Coron, El Nido, and other emerging tourism sites.

Ship calls declined 0.61% to 219,380 from 220,721 due to successive cancelation of trips owing to inclement weather.

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