INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) received new equipment for its flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), as part of its $80-million capacity improvement program.

In a statement, the Razon-led port operator said its order of a new quay crane and eight hybrid rubber tired gantries (RTG) recently arrived. The quay crane can service the largest feeder vessels calling at the port.

“[T]he (quay crane) is part of the five from ICTSI’s 2018 $80-million capacity improvement program package… [T]he eight (rubber tired gantries) are also part of the 2018 16-unit order from Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.,” it said.

Aside from being more fuel-efficient and faster, ICTSI said the RTGs are the “most eco-efficient landside port equipment” in the Philippines.

“The new quay cranes and rubber tired gantries, along with other improvements, will push a notch higher our terminal’s already efficient turnaround times — quayside and landside. This should redound to economic benefits for the Philippine supply chain,” ICTSI Global Corporate Head Christian R. Gonzalez was quoted as saying in the statement.

This year, the ICTSI Group is again investing $380 million for capital expenditures, largely to fund the acquisition of new equipment to upgrade terminals in Manila, Mexico and Iraq.

ICTSI again ordered 16 new hybrid RTGs from Mitsui, which will be delivered next year to be deployed at the MICT. The new RTGs are expected to help reduce terminal emissions and fuel consumption per move by up to 40% and 60%, respectively, according to the company.

“On top of what has already been done, a number of initiatives are currently in place or are being put in place across the ICTSI Group to improve productivity and reduce port emissions. These include gate automation and gate system upgrades to reduce queuing times, fleet changes to introduce faster and more fuel-efficient equipment, and utilizing machine learning and analytics to improve and automate yard strategy to reduce truck stay times. Taken altogether, these are expected to have an even greater material impact on indirect emissions from ICTSI port operations, seen to reduce cycle times of more than 20 minutes per truck visit,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

MICT currently has 18 quay cranes and 58 RTGs, making it the local terminal with the largest fleet of modern container-handling equipment.

The company is also initiating projects to boost the MICT’s operations, such as inter-terminal transfers at the North Port in Manila connecting to other islands, and barge berthing services between the MICT and the newly opened Cavite Gateway Terminal.

ICTSI recorded an attributable net income of $72.4 million in the first quarter, higher by 77% from the same period last year, due to strong operating income and lower financing charges. — D.A.Valdez