PPA eyes 10-13% growth in cargo for 2024

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PPA eyes 10-13% growth in cargo for 2024
  • The Philippine Ports Authority is eyeing from 10% to 13% year-on-year growth in cargo volumes this year
  • Passenger traffic is expected to jump between 30% and 33%
  • While January to May 2024 cargo volume growth is flat year-on-year, PPA expects a rebound by the second half of the year
  • For cruise ship passengers, PPA expects a 19% increment to 103,899 passengers this year from 87,217 in 2023

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is eyeing a 10% to 13% year-on-year growth in cargo volumes and 30%-33% higher passenger traffic in 2024, according to PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago.

Ports under PPA’s jurisdiction handled 272.46 million metric tons (mt) in 2023, 5.14% higher than the 259.13 million mt recorded in 2022.

READ: PPA reveals top ports, commodities in 2023

While January to May 2024 cargo volume growth is flat year-on-year, PPA expects a rebound by the second half of the year, Santiago said in a press briefing on July 9.

RELATED READ: PH ports handle 2.5% more cargo in Q1

He noted that traditionally, volumes ramp up by the second half of the year due to cargoes for the holiday season.

The growth is expected to come from domestic cargoes, which Santiago noted are “very dynamic, very robust”.

Foreign cargo volumes, meanwhile, are affected by the slowdown in movement at transshipment hubs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong ports, which are experiencing congestion due to shipping problems in the Red Sea. Shipping lines are avoiding that sea lane due to attacks launched by Houthi rebels in sympathy with Palestinians over their war with Israel. This has resulted in shipping delays in many sectors.

Shippers are also “trying to maximize the shipment schedules” by making fewer trips due to increases in shipping charges, again due to ongoing global conflicts, Santiago said.

“Hopefully those issues get resolved before the end of the year but generally speaking…we’re optimistic that we will break (the) numbers (we had) last year and we will have an upward trend towards the end of the year,” he said.

For the passenger side, Santiago said they are eyeing a 30%-33% increase from the 73.637 million passengers recorded in 2023.

For cruise ship passengers in particular, PPA expects a 19% increment to 103,899 passengers this year from 87,217 passengers in 2023. For January to May 2024, PPA already recorded 58,648 cruise ship passengers. – Roumina Pablo