Philippine ports must expand capacity to allow entry of larger containers, in order to provide direct service and eliminate transhipment of goods, American shipping company APL said on Friday.
“The vessel couldn’t enter the port and that’s something extremely important for development,,” APL Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Sartini said in a press briefing.
“Today, Manila and Philippines cannot take direct service, so we offer transhipment service,” he said.
The APL chief executive noted that a direct service will lessen transportation cost, compared with conducting transhipment where goods are off-loaded from one ship in a certain location, then transferred to another ship before reaching the final destination.
“Once you offer direct service, we immediately see the volumes of markets growing,” Sartini said, citing that the port in Jakarta, Indonesia, offers direct service which helped the city’s economy to grow. According to the Sartini, APL seeks to discuss the said matter with the Department of Transportation and maritime leaders to help resolve the issue.
Sartini said good infrastructure is important to increase trade within a region.
“Trade is bringing in income,” Sartini said, and “we have to facilitate the trade by all means.”
In the Philippines, APL serves the ports of Manila north and south, Subic, Davao, General Santos, Cebu and Cagayan. Its export markets are Japan, the United States, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. The import markets it serves are US, China Japan, Thailand, Korea and Singapore.
Sartini said APL seeks to introduce new routes and services in the Intra-Asian region, after it has launched a shipment route between Philippines and India last week.
“We are connecting the Philippines with every single market in Intra-Asia. We have 150 million containers moving in the world. One out of six of them is in Intra-Asia,” Sartini said.
“We continue to open new services. It would be the Intra-Asia scope. We continue to grow the regional network. We are taking new origins in the Philippines, opening new goods market for the Philippine goods to be sold anywhere else in the world,” he added.
APL could also acquire local shipping companies to further grow its business.