Another global shipping company has made the Subic Bay Freeport its port of call of choice, bringing to five the number of major shipping lines that operate in the country’s premier free port.
Evergreen Line, which is based at Taoyuan City in Taiwan, is the world’s fifth biggest shipping firm and operates in 240 ports in 80 countries worldwide. It commenced operations here on Wednesday (April 19) with the arrival of M/V Cape Fulmar, a 1,440-TEU vessel home-ported at the Marshall Islands.
According to Evergreen boarding officer Andy Dela Cuesta, the arrival of Cape Fulmar marked the start of Evergreen’s once-a-week rotated schedule from the port city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan to Batangas and Subic in the Philippines, and back to Kaohsiung.
Cape Fulmar, which has berthed at Subic’s New Container Terminal (NCT), unloaded 200 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vans and 70 forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) container vans for companies in Subic and Clark like Yokohama, Lepanto Tiles, and Coam Philippines.
Before it departs, the ship will load 39 containers of products for shipment, Dela Cuesta added.
The Evergreen official also said that some of their customers in Manila are now considering putting up warehouses in Subic, noting the easy access to Subic Freeport via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).
The entry of Evergreen in Subic, according to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Wilma Eisma, “will definitely boost the timely transshipment of goods in Central and Northern Luzon and improve the competitiveness of these areas in terms of the delivery of raw materials and finished products.”
“Time is one major concern of investors and manufacturers in Central and Northern Luzon— their raw materials should arrive on time and their finished products must be delivered as scheduled. And this is where Subic comes in to provide ease and cost-efficiency,” Eisma added.
The SBMA administrator also said that as her administration is keen on increasing container traffic in the Subic Bay Freeport, the agency is actively promoting the Subic as an ideal shipping port, pointing out that it is the only port in the country’s Western seaboard that can accommodate a sizable quantity of cargo container.
“Along this line, the arrival of Evergreen is a major development for Subic,” Eisma added.
Taiwan is now among the Philippines’ biggest trading partners, with around $7.85 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2015. Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone hosts 52 Taiwanese companies with $500 million worth of investments and over 12,000 jobs generated.
Thus far, Evergreen is the fifth major international shipping line to call on Subic and connect the free port to major economies in Asia. The others are American President Lines (APL), which is based in Singapore; Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) of Japan; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) of Japan; SITC Container Lines of China; and Wan Hai Lines of Taiwan.
Evergreen, which has 190 ships and some $4.6 billion in revenue, is also the fifth biggest shipping company in the world, according to MoverDB.com. NYK places No. 14 in the same list, while Wan Hai is at No. 19.
In 2015, it was named “Best Global Shipping Line” by Asia Cargo News at the Asian Freight Logistics and Supply Chain Awards for consistent excellence in customer service, innovation and quality of services provided. (RAV/HEE/MPD-SBMA)
 A tugboat nudges MV Cape Fulmar into position at the New Container Terminal-2 in the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday. The arrival of the container vessel marked the start of a Kaohsiung-Subic- Kaohsiung route for Evergreen Lines, the world's 5th biggest shipping line. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
 Container trucks line up at the New Container Terminal-2 in the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday, as MV Cape Fulmar unloads cargo containers to mark the start of a Kaohsiung-Subic- Kaohsiung route for Evergreen Lines. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
 Officials of the Taiwanese shipping giant Evergreen Lines proceed to the dockside at Subic’s New Container Terminal-2 on Wednesday to welcome the arrival of MV Cape Fulmar, which marked the start of a Kaohsiung-Subic- Kaohsiung route. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)