Subic terminal to admit containerized grain shipments

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THE Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) said Tuesday it will start allowing the shipment of grain through containers, as opposed to the former practice of admitting cargoes only in bulk form.

The company, a unit of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), said the practice of admitting containers of grain allows the shipment of smaller quantities of the commodity.

“In the case of grain, containers are filled with a certain type of grain and delivered to their destinations, without additional handling procedures. This keeps different grain types separate, and allows for smaller orders, as containers can only carry up to 23-24 tonnes of grain,” it said.

Grain products such as rice, wheat, corn and soybean are usually shipped in bulk, which is more laborious to load and unload.

Containerization, meanwhile, allows more savings in cost and labor hours, it said, while also minimizing the buildup of containers at ports on trans-oceanic grain shipments.

“Round-trip container shipping as a practice allows Asian countries to export consumer goods west, with the containers bringing back grain to Asia upon their return,” SBITC said.

It added fewer handling errors mean grain quality is likely to be maintained during shipment. — Denise A. Valdez