THE country’s cargo throughput posted double-digit growth in the first quarter of the year, the first such substantial improvement since the global economic crisis broke out in 2008.
For the period in review, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said volume grew 22.74% to 39.534 million metric tons (mmt) from 32.210 mmt last year (click here for table).
Of the total cargo traffic, government ports handled 17.755 mmt or 44.91% with the Manila International Container Terminal and South Harbor accounting for 34.68% or 6.16 mmt. Other government ports handled 11.60 mmt or 65.32%.
Significant increases in volume were recorded in the ports of Iloilo (up 135.78%), Puerto Princesa (83.76%), Iligan (83.42%), San Fernando (61.15%) and Dapitan (56.38%).
“The improvement in volume may be attributed to the increase in the shipment of corn, cement, grains, coconut oil, flour, chemicals and other general cargoes and export products such as coal, mineral fuels, limestone and coconut oil,” PPA said in a report.
Declines in cargo volume were recorded in Cotabato (down 16.76%); South Harbor, 13.76%; General Santos,3.93% and Batangas, 2.10%.
Domestic cargoes improved 9.56% or 1.61 mmt and foreign cargoes, 37.16% or 5.72 mmt for the period in review.
Containerized volume rose 21.40% to 1.070 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 881,978 million TEUs last year.
Domestic and foreign container traffic jumped 12.83% and 27.48%, respectively.
The combined containerized cargo at South Harbor and MICT reached 615,936 TEUs or about 57.53% of the total during the period while other government ports accounted for the remaining 30.64%.
Total passenger traffic for the first quarter grew 15.92% compared to the same period last year, brought about by more roll on-roll off users and the influx of local and foreign tourists at the onset of the summer season.
Among ports that showed impressive domestic and foreign passenger traffic were the North Harbor, Calapan, Legazpi, Cagayan de Oro, Batangas and Tacloban.
The volume of shipcalls for the first three months also went up 11.14% from 74,114 shipcalls to 82,369 this year. The number of domestic and foreign vessels improved 11.19% and 9.39%, respectively, with the highest recorded traffic at the ports of San Fernando, Iloilo, Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro, Dapitan and Zamboanga.