Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Philippine Container Port Figures

Foreign container traffic handled by Philippine ports (excluding the autonomous Subic Freeport and Cebu International Port) increased by 12.8% in 2007 to 2.385M TEU, according to official figures newly released by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The improvement boosted nationwide throughput (foreign and domestic) by 5.4% to 3.988M TEU. However, to put the figures in perspective, just one Malaysian port, Tanjung Pelepas, handled 5.5M TEU last year.

This may suggest that the Philippines’ international containerised cargo market remains too small to sustain the four new container terminals that have been built in the archipelago over the past four years.

Mindanao Container Terminal, Batangas-Phase II and Subic Freeport’s NCT-1 and NCT-2 have an aggregate annual handling capaccity of 1.27M TEU. Significantly, foreign container traffic remains concentrated at the Port of Manila with ICTSI’s Manila International Container Terminal in 2007 recording 1.36M TEU (+ 13.6%) and Asian Terminals Inc’s Manila South Harbor 768,632 TEU (+ 7.3%).

Imp/ex volumes were likewise up in other key international ports - 18,204 TEU (+ 54.7%) at International Port of Cagayan de Oro, 182,542 TEU (+ 36.9%) at Sasa Wharf in Davao and 16,828 TEU (+ 41.4%) at General Santos port’s Makar Wharf. The lacklustre Port of Batangas located south of the Philippine capital raised its foreign throughput last year by more than 400% - to 21 TEU from 5 TEU in 2006!

PPA figures indicate that foreign throughput at Mindanao Container Terminal was down 43.6% at 4467 TEU as was overall throughput (down 44.7% at 19,949 TEU). But the Phividec Industrial Authority, which owns the terminal, has reported otherwise: international volume actually hit 14,553 TEU in 2007 for a record-setting total of 80,326 TEU, up 123% from the 2006 level.

Publicly-listed Asian Terminals Inc (ATI), part of DP World, has reported a 15.9% drop in foreign container throughput at its flagship Manila South Harbor for the first half of 2008. Based on PPA data for the same period last year, that would mean that South Harbor cleared some 310,500 TEU in the first half. The company has not given any explanation for the decline. In contrast, ICTSI’s MICT saw throughput jump by 16% to 744,875 TEU between January and June, even though the same Government-fixed tariffs apply in both facilities.

ATI's consolation is that non-containerised shipments through the South Harbor surged by 27.1% (to 394,796t, based on last year's PPA figures). This reverses the prolonged downturn brought about by competition from the Manila Harbour Centre multipurpose terminal.

ATI's consolidated first half revenues increased by 4.9% to Pesos2.112B (US$46.3M) and consolidated net income by 18.8% to Pesos 382M. Earnings were probably once again pulled down by the lacklustre performance of ATI’s South Harbor domestic passenger/cargo terminal, which suffered a 4% cut in passenger volume (to around 770,408). Domestic container throughput is believed to have declined, too, although ATI would not say by how much.

Source : worldcargonews - 13 September 2008