11 April 2017

Evergreen adds Subic to Korea-Taiwan-Philippines service

Taiwan’s carrier Evergreen will add Subic to its existing Korea-Taiwan-Philippines (KTP) service from next month, utilising Subic’s New Container Terminals 1 and 2 operated by Manila-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).

The addition of Subic to Evergreen’s KTP service will open the port to direct trade links with South Korea and Taiwan. The trade will also include transshipment service for overseas cargo.

Cargo unloading at the container terminal in Subic Bay Freeport

The first Evergreen container ship is scheduled to make its maiden call at Subic on 19 April. The weekly KTP service port rotation is Korea’s Incheon and Kwangyang, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung, the Philippines’ Batangas, Manila and Subic, and back to Kaohsiung.

Roberto R. Locsin, general manager of ICTSI subsidiary Subic Bay International Terminal Corp, commented: “Our inclusion in the KTP service is a clear indication that the markets of central and northern Luzon are growing, and will benefit from another large global carrier participating in this growth.”

In December 2016, the Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau (TMPB) expressed interest to partner with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to increase container transhipment traffic between the ports of Taiwan and Subic.

The Philippines has been able to capitalise on Taiwan’s ‘Southbound Policy’ which aims to strengthen trade and investment relationship between Taiwan and countries south of the latter’s territory.

Taiwan is the Philippines’ sixth biggest trading partner, facilitating around $7.85bn worth of bilateral trade in 2015. South Korea, on the other hand, is the Philippines’ fifth largest trading partner in 2015 with bilateral trade reaching $13.4bn in 2014.

Recently, SBMA has urged local government units around the Subic Freeport Zone to start developing industrial parks to accommodate the growing number of investors.

“We’re now seeing the results of our campaign to promote Subic. We are doubling our efforts to sustain the current momentum to ensure we don’t lose on the gains we have achieved in putting Subic at the center of economic growth in central and northern Luzon, ” said ICTSI’s Locsin. (Lee Hong Liang, Seatrade Maritime)