PH ports handle 2.5% more cargo in Q1

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PH ports handle 2.5% more cargo in Q1
Manila port. Photo from Philippine Ports Authority.
  • Philippine ports handled 2.5% more cargoes in the first quarter of 2024 as both domestic and foreign shipments recorded increases
  • Container traffic was down 2.4% to 1.786 million TEUs as both domestic and foreign containers posted declines in the first quarter
  • Ship calls at PPA ports were 12.5% higher at 147,719

Philippine ports handled 2.5% more cargoes in the first quarter of 2024 as both domestic and foreign shipments recorded increases, preliminary data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed.

Ports under PPA jurisdiction processed 59.314 million metric tons (mt) from January to March 2024, higher than the 57.864 million mt posted in the same period last year.

Domestic cargoes, which accounted for 43% of the total, increased 4.9% to 25.552 million mt in the first quarter of the year from 24.367 million mt in the same period in 2023.

Foreign cargoes, which shared 57% of the total, likewise rose but slightly at 0.8% to 33.762 million mt in the first quarter from 33.497 million mt in the same quarter last year as imports dropped 1.9% year-on-year to 23.637 million mt.

Exports, on the other hand, improved 7.7% to 10.124 million mt from 9.404 million mt.

In terms of regions, Luzon ports had the largest share of the total with 34.802 million mt or 58.7%. It was, however, 3.7% lower than the 36.123 million mt handled in the first quarter of last year.

Visayas ports saw double-digit growth of 19.5% to 12.967 million mt from 10.851 million mt while Mindanao ports handled 6% more cargoes with 11.545 million mt from 10.890 million mt last year.

In terms of container traffic, PPA ports serviced 1.786 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first quarter of 2024, down 2.4% from the 1.829 million TEUs recorded in the first quarter of 2023.

Both domestic and foreign containers posted declines in the first quarter.

Domestic containers dropped 1.4% to 628,829 TEUs from 637,985 TEUs while foreign containers fell 2.9% to 1.157 million TEUs from 1.191 million TEUs.

Import containers rose 0.6% to 576,042 TEUs from 572,461 TEUs while export containers shrank 6.1% to 581,059 TEUs from 618,932 TEUs.

Luzon ports, which handled 75% of the total, posted a 3.3% decline to 1.338 million TEUs from 1.384 million TEUs.

Visayas ports likewise saw a 0.5% decrease to 105,714 TEUs from 106,287 TEUs. Mindanao ports, on the other hand, recorded a 0.8% increment to 341,784 TEUs from 338,918 TEUs.

Ship calls at PPA ports reached 147,719 in the first quarter of 2024, 12.5% higher than the 131,320 ship calls in the same period last year.

Domestic ship calls still accounted for bulk of the total, garnering a 12.8% increase to 145,086 from 128,615 ship calls in the first quarter of last year. Foreign ship calls, on the other hand, dropped 2.7% to 2,633 from 2,705.

Passenger traffic in the first three months of the year grew 15% to 18.758 million passengers from 16.313 million passengers in the same quarter last year. The first quarter figure is also within pre-pandemic levels.

Cruise passengers likewise climbed 121.2% to 73,064 from 33,027 last year.

Roll-on/roll-off traffic reached 2.74 million, up 12% from 2.448 million in the first quarter of last year.

According to PPA’s performance scorecard for 2024, it targets 279.26 million mt of cargoes this year, 2.5% higher from the 272.462 million mt actual recorded volume in 2023. The ports authority also aims 536,885 vessel calls, and 70.48 million passengers this year. – Roumina Pablo