SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Even more ships now call on the Port of Subic, as indicated by a 53 per cent buildup in its number of ship calls, as of end-September compared to the same month last year.
Living up to the promise of being an alternative port to Manila, the Subic Port saw a rise in the number of domestic and foreign vessels by 56 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively, for the month.
These vessels brought in a 10 per cent increase in gross registered tonnage (GRT), as domestic vessels mustered a substantial spread of 126 per cent in GRT and foreign ships, a modest gain of six (6) per cent.
“Our port likewise enjoyed a 55 per cent hike in revenues, from P63 million in September 2014 to P99 million last month,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia reported.
A major contributors to the Port’s revenue figures were port leases and rentals, which surged up by 126 per cent; and SBMA shares, which improved by 110 per cent, Garcia added.
Also contributing to this increase in revenues were cargo charges, which went up by 19 per cent; and processing fees and other charges, which expanded by 27 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.
According to Garcia, the Subic Port also showed marked improvements in cargo volume at the end of September, as containerized cargo shipments swelled by 50 per cent in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“As of last month, we have already broken our 2014 yearend record of 77,000 TEUs,” Garcia disclosed, noting that total TEUs from January to September this year have already reached 93,757 TEUs.
Although transshipments went down from 65 TEUs in September 2014 to six (6) TEUs in September this year, this drop was compensated by a 51 per cent increment in import shipments and a 19 per cent upturn in export shipments, along with a 52 per cent and a 84 per cent growth in incoming empties and outgoing empties, respectively.
Similarly, non-containerized cargo volume registered a growth of 48 per cent in terms of metric tons (MTs) in September, as compared to the same month last year. These cargoes largely consisted of liquid bulk and petroleum shipments, which jumped by 99 per cent, followed by bulk and break bulk by 16 per cent, and heavy equipment, lo-lo, and ro-ro shipments by four (4) per cent.
Garcia attributes the port’s positive performance to several factors such as Subic’s one-stop shop, which is the only one of its kind in Luzon; SBMA’s port marketing programs, which includes two recent maritime summits; and the formation of a Maritime Technical Group.
“All these initiatives plus the fact that Subic Bay is the only port in the Philippines western seaboard that still has enough capacity to handle additional container volume have further sharpened our port’s competitive edge,” the top SBMA official explained. (30)