Ports cargo volume rises 7.42% in first half

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CARGO throughput recorded by ports in the Philippines rose 7.42% in the first half of the year, reflecting a positive economic climate, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said.

The PPA said that all types of cargo operations, except for loose export cargoes, posted positive performances in the six months to June.

Mindanao ports also posted gains for the period despite security issues raised by the Marawi City siege.

Cargo volume was 125.805 million metric tons (MMT).

Domestic volume rose 8.79%, while foreign volume rose 6.51%. Import volume rose 11.41%, while exports decline 0.61% year on year.

“Port traffic sustained its growth momentum propelled by the surging domestic demand as well as private investment, which drove economy-wide growth in view of the government’s expansionary fiscal-policy stance. The more efficient movement of cargoes coming in and out of the Manila ports as a result of the implementation of Terminal Management Booking System and other decongestion measures paved the way for the sustained efficient operations of the ports,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Mindanao ports, particularly those in Northern Mindanao, continued to show growth notwithstanding the ongoing security concerns in the region,” Mr. Santiago added.

The Northern Mindanao ports, composed of Iligan, Ozamiz, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Surigao, handled a total of 112.575 MMT.

Passenger traffic continue to rise at a rate of 1.86% year on year to 38.583 million passengers, driven by increased travel during Easter as well as the continuous reliance on Roll-on, Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) vessels, fast craft, and motorized bancas as primary mode of transportation for interisland connectivity.

Passenger traffic through the ports may also reflect the government’s domestic eco-tourism programs promoting Ro-Ro connections to island destinations such as Siargao, Puerto Galera, Bohol, Coron, and El Nido.

Ship calls declined by 0.61% to 219,380 due to trip cancellation due to adverse weather.

The Manila Ports composed of the Manila South Harbor, Manila North Harbor, and the Manila International Container Terminal, posted a combined yard utilization of 53%. Combined berth occupancy rate was 57% and quay crane productivity was 26 moves per crane per hour, levels which the PPA said do not reflect any congestion at the facilities. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo