PH ports see 3.8% cargo volume growth in first nine months

PH ports see 3.8% cargo volume growth in first nine months
  • Philippine ports overseen by the Philippine Ports authority saw a 3.8% growth in cargo volume to 201.865 million metric tons in the first nine months of 2023
  • Container traffic declined 6.6% for the same period
  • Shipcalls rose to 394,633 vessels, an 11.8% increase
  • Passenger traffic jumped 20.9% to 53.077 million
  • Roll-on/roll-off traffic experienced a 5% uptick

Philippine ports handled 3.8% more cargo in the first nine months of 2023 mainly driven by higher foreign shipments, according to preliminary data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Cargo throughput serviced by ports under PPA’s jurisdiction hit 201.865 million metric tons (mt) from January to September 2023, surpassing the 194.402 million mt handled in the same period last year.

The improvement was powered by the 6.1% growth in foreign cargoes, constituting 63.9% of the total cargo volume. Foreign cargoes reached 129.071 million mt from 121.598 million mt last year.

Import volumes inched up 2.6% to 75.142 million mt from 73.238 million mt while export throughput jumped 11.5% to 53.929 million mt from 48.36 million mt.

Domestic cargoes, on the other hand, dipped 0.01% to 72.795 million mt from 72.804 million mt last year.

In terms of containers, PPA ports handled 5.489 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the first nine months of the year, down 6.6% from the 5.875 million TEUs year-on-year.

The decline was influenced by an 18.8% drop in domestic containers to 1.848 million TEUs from 2.275 million TEUs last year. In contrast, foreign containers increased by 1.1% to 3.641 million TEUs from 3.6 million TEUs last year.

Import containers saw a marginal decrease of 0.2% to 1.811 million TEUs from 1.814 million TEUs. Exports, meanwhile, grew by 2.5% to 1.829 million TEUs from 1.785 million TEUs.

Roll-on/roll-off traffic advanced 5% to 7.898 million from last year’s 7.523 million.

PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago previously said he expects a 7-8% improvement in both cargo and container traffic for 2023.

Shipcalls handled by PPA ports for the first nine months of the year were up 11.8% to 394,633 vessels from 352,929 vessels in the same period last year.

Domestic shipcalls rose by 12.2% to 386,329 vessels from 344,244 vessels. Meanwhile, foreign shipcalls decreased by 4.4% to 8,304 vessels from 8,685 vessels last year.

Passenger traffic continued to improve this year, recording a 20.9% growth to 53.077 million passengers in the first nine months from 43.918 million passengers in the same period last year.

There were also 46,657 cruise passengers as cruise ships returned to various PPA ports this year due to full easing of COVID-19 restrictions. – Roumina Pablo

RELATED READ: PH ports’ cargo volume up 4.6% in first half