Home » Ports/Terminals » PH ports should accommodate mother ships — NYK exec

THE Philippine government should look into developing a port system that accommodates mother ships and not just feeder vessels.

NYK Line Philippine general manager Daniel Ventanilla is recommending a paradigm shift and an overhaul of the Philippines’ port systems and practices for the country to effectively meet future demands of international shipping.

He said aligning the country’s practices to world standards is the biggest challenge for the Philippine government, port regulators and port operators.

“The world is now building ultra-large container ships and the world’s fleet is getting bigger and bigger in terms of size which is over 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in capacity,” Ventanilla told PortCalls at the sidelines of the 6th Philippine Ports and Shipping Conference held in Manila last week.

“The Philippines, on the other hand, can only accommodate feeder vessels or those vessels with a capacity ranging from 100 TEUs to a maximum of 3,000 TEUs but these kinds of vessels are quickly shrinking in the world market as well as in the order books,” Ventanilla explained.

This year, about 200 vessels are going online worldwide, 9.5% higher than in 2009. Of the total, ultra large cargo carriers form the bulk with feeder vessels accounting for only a tiny percentage.

“The challenge will be how the Philippines can bring these big ships in,” Ventanilla said.

Ports, he noted, should be designed to accommodate mother ships that will offer economies of scale and eventually reduce shipping cost.

Philippine ports should also complement and not compete with each other for better efficiency and productivity, he added.

Government was also urged to push more direct international services for Mindanao ports such as General Santos, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

“Government and port operators should invest heavily on port facilities to address these future demands otherwise the Philippines will be left out again. We really dream of having mother ships dock in the Philippines,” Ventanilla said.

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