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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

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15 January 2009

Carriers parking their vessels in Subic Bay

International shipping lines have started to reduce the frequencies of their vessels going to and from the Philippines, and are parking some of their vessels in the ports of the country.

Perfecto Pascual, seaport manager of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said at least 12 vessels have already been parked in the free port since November last year, most of which are from ship agents Ben Line and BOW Marine Services Inc.

“International carriers started to temporarily park their vessels in the third quarter of the year and continue up to this time,” Pascual
said.

SBMA is charging $0.0174 per GRT (gross registered ton) per day for every vessel anchored along the territories of the free port on top of the one-time harbor fee of $0.06 per GRT per day. The rate for domestic vessels, on the other hand, is half of that price.

Shipping lines prefer to just park their vessels to reduce the cost as cargo volumes are on a steep downtrend since the third quarter last year due to the global recession.

Such move, however, has become a boon to local port authorities as they can still get a significant amount of revenues, even if cargo volumes are decreasing.

“Several other [ship] agents have expressed possibility of parking their vessels to Subic Bay if the shipping business continues to remain slow in the next weeks,”
Pascual said.

At the Port of Manila, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is also allocating spaces for the international lines to lay up their vessels until such time that the economic crisis winds down. (VG Cabuag, Business Mirror)

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