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Philippines: Port cargo volume up 2% in 7 months

Thursday, 06 September 2018 | 20:00

Volume of cargo at the country’s ports posted an uptick in the first seven months behind sluggish local and foreign trade, according to the Philippine Ports Authority.

Latest data from the PPA showed that cargo traffic reached 147.271 million metric tons (MMT) from January to July, up two percent from the 144.412 MMT in the same period last year.

Foreign cargo traffic grew by 1.64 percent year-on-year to 87.639 MMT, while domestic cargo volume rose by 2.48 percent to 59.631 MMT.

With cargo volume “a bit slow” in the seven months, PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago remains upbeat that volume will pick-up toward the latter part of the year.

“Notwithstanding the decrease in the volume of export cargo by 0.98 percent, we were still able to post positive deviation in the overall cargo traffic,” Santiago said.

“Nonetheless, we are still on target of hitting our forecast of a modest cargo volume hike for 2018 of high single-digit to low double-digit growth,” he said.

The PPA said container traffic jumped nine percent to 4.309 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 3.953 million TEUs last year, with domestic boxes handled at the ports reaching 1.755 million TEUs and foreign boxes hitting 2.553 million TEUs.

Passenger volume, meanwhile, continued to expand as of July as it rose 6.63 percent to 47.592 million passengers from the 44.631 million passengers recorded in the same period last year.

“The favorable passenger traffic was driven primarily by continued reliance by the sea-traveling public on Ro-Ro vessels, fastcraft, and motorized bancas as primary mode of transportation for domestic interisland travel,” the PPA said, noting that the increase was registered particularly at the ports of Bohol, Mindoro, Negros Oriental/Siquijor, Bredco/Bacolod and Surigao.

Shipcalls during the seven-month period also improved by 5.05 percent to 273,827 from 260,669 vessels last year due to the increase in domestic shipcalls.

“The silver lining in this situation is that our ports, particularly the Manila Ports, remain clog-free and ready to accept the influx of holiday cargoes, which we expect to arrive in the next couple of weeks,” Santiago said.
Source: The Philippine Star

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