SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Another international shipping line has opened a direct route between this free port and the major ports of Japan and Singapore, joining a growing number of shippers that now call on Subic following its classification as an extension port of Manila.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto V. Garcia announced on Wednesday that Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, one of the world's leading transportation companies, will open direct routes from Japan to Subic and from Subic to Singapore.
Garcia finalized an agreement for the new shipping route late last month with Capt. Chak Kwok Wai, chairman and managing director of the NYK Group; Ian T. Maambong, NYK sales manager for export; Dan Florentino, chief operating officer of the Transnational Diversified Group; and Tony Ramos, administrative officer of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp.
"The opening of NYK's direct routes to Subic is intended to provide an alternative solution to the port congestion in Manila," Garcia explained.
"NYK has stressed that it opened the routes as a contribution to help solve the current concerns in Manila and in response to the Philippine government's request to decongest Manila ports," Garcia added.
The NYK Group, which is based in Japan, is a comprehensive global-logistics enterprise offering ocean, land, and air transport services.
Under the agreement, NYK will be providing Subic discharge and load options for urgent cargoes, thereby helping to minimize their vessel's overall port stay in Manila.
Garcia said that NYK will start an adhoc call at the Port of Subic using its 2,300-TEU capacity target vessel MV Jakarta Tower exclusively for NYK bookings.
Jakarta Tower is scheduled to make its first Subic call on November 22.
Daniel Ventanilla, general manager of NYK Fil-Japan Shipping Corp., said in a message to Garcia that NYK's new line to Subic is marked by many milestones.
"This will be the first service in the Philippines to make a direct call from Japan to Subic, in addition to the regular Taiwan-Subic call," Ventanilla said.
"It will also be the first service to call from Subic to Singapore, a major transshipment port providing numerous connections to East Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand ports," he added.
The SBMA said earlier that the Southeast Asian shipping community is starting to notice the potentials of the Port of Subic as an ideal port to move and transship both containerized and bulk cargo shipments. "With the entry of NYK, our port would virtually become a gateway to ASEAN, Africa, Europe, and North America," Garcia noted.
Last month, China-based SITC Container Lines Philippines, Inc. opened a direct route from Xiamen, China to Subic when its container ship MV Sicilia made its maiden voyage to Subic and unloaded 22 containers at the New Container Terminal (NCT) 2.
The cargoes included products from Guangxi, Sichuan and Shanghai, all in China, respectively for Orica Philippines in Limay, Bataan; Nestle Philippines Inc. in Cabuyao, Laguna; and Manila World Transport, Inc. in Metro Manila. (30)