INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) said Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce S.A. (SPIA), its joint venture container terminal project with PSA International Pte Ltd. (PSA) in Buenaventura, Colombia, has received the “largest vessel ever to call Colombia” this month.

“Coming from Asia, the large-scale vessel, APL Esplanade, recently arrived at Puerto Aguadulce with a capacity of 13,892 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs),” ICTSI said in a statement on Monday.

It added that the vessel would continue to other ports in South America.

“The shipping companies continue to build larger and larger capacity vessels. For Puerto Aguadulce, receiving this type of vessel is an honor and a great responsibility. We work continuously under our vision of being a strategic ally of the Colombian economy. At the end of last year, we received what is now, after APL Esplanade, the second largest capacity container vessel that has docked in the country,” Miguel A. Abisambra, Puerto Aguadulce general manager, was quoted as saying.

He said these calls affirm that the terminal, which began operations in November 2016, has “global service standards, technology, infrastructure and security.”

ICTSI had posted a 7% increase in its net income attributable to equity holders in the July-September period last year.

The Razon-led company attributed the profit growth to strong operating income contribution from the terminals in Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mexico, and Manila and Subic in the Philippines; new contracts with shipping lines and services at Victoria International Container Terminal in Melbourne, Australia; continuing ramp-up at the new terminals in Papua New Guinea; and a decrease in equity in net loss at Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce.

Revenue from port operations went up by 3% to $355.6 million during the third quarter, and by 10% to $1.1 billion during the January-September period.

The company has said it spent $177.7 million out of the $380-million capital expenditure budget as of end-September. — Arjay L. Balinbin