12 August 2015

Subic cargo volume seen to increase by 40%

Shipping volume at the port of Subic will hit around 130,000 TEUs this year, for a 40% increase from last year’s figure which stood at 77,000 TEUs, officials said Monday as they cited the boon from the recently signed Cabotage Law and continuing port congestion in Manila.

“The Subic port continues to do very well this year as we celebrate the anniversary of the New Container Terminal 1 (NCT1), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman and Administrator Roberto J. Garcia said in a press conference.

As of July this year, the port of Subic has already hit its target of 73,000 TEUs, way before the peak months from September to December as far as imports are concerned, according to Garcia.

“Again we are going into the heavy months starting September and if the port congestion in Manila persists, we can expect more containers to come to Subic,” Garcia told reporters.

Garcia also welcomed the passage last month of the Cabotage Law (Republic Act No. 10668) that allows foreign vessels to transport and co-load foreign cargo for domestic transshipment and for other purposes, which he said will increase cargo traffic in Subic.

“Under the current arrangement, international sips are allowed to go to only one port of destination. Under the Cabotage Law, they can go to any port – from Subic to Puerto Princesa, to Iligan, wherever,” Garcia explained.

He said he believes the beneficial effect of the new law is that the local shipping lines will be more competitive, and consequently, shipping cost will decrease

“As you know, the Philippines has one of the highest interisland shipping rates, and reports have it that it is more expensive to ship a container from Manila to Davao than from Manila to Singapore,” Garcia said. “It doesn’t make sense, and that is not good for business,” he added.

The SBMA chair also said he followed up with the newly appointed Customs Collector Emelito Aquino his earlier request to send back to the ports of Manila the 15 containers of trash which came from Canada, and that the latter immediately endorsed this request to the Customs Commissioner.

“We made our position very clear – we don’t want that trash here,” he stressed. (Ansbert Joaquin, InterAksyon.com)

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman and Administrator Roberto J. Garcia. (Photo by Ansbert Joaquin)