LISTED port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) is acquiring four new quay cranes for its Batangas and Manila ports as part of its P4.6 billion programmed capital spending this year to expand capacity and sustain operational efficiency.
Most of this capital expenditure will be focused on Batangas Port as ATI seeks to further expand its role as trade facilitator in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the company said in a recent statement.
“Central to this is the expansion of Batangas Container Terminal (BCT), beginning with the extension of its crane rails and container yard. This sets the stage for the delivery of two additional quay cranes, four more rubber-tired gantry cranes and other cargo handling equipment by 2018 in line with ATI’s plans of doubling BCT’s capacity to over 600,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units),” ATI said.
In 2016, BCT handled more than 160,000 TEUs of foreign boxes, setting a record for highest container throughput in a single year.
“More significantly, this translated to reduction of more than 80,000 truck trips along metro roads, with more shippers opting to route commodities via Batangas instead of Manila,” the company explained.
Car storage facility
Meanwhile, the development of ATI’s Batangas multilevel car storage facility (MCSF) is on schedule, the terminal operator said. Phase 1 of the MCSF is scheduled to come online as early as November while the second phase will be finished by mid-2018.
“This will increase the capacity of the country’s top car carrier port to over 7,000 completely-built up car units (CBUs) at any single time, in support of booming consumer demand for imported vehicles,” ATI said.
ATI broke ground for the MCSF in late March.
Last year, Batangas handled over 200,000 CBUs, which accounted for a little more than half of the new cars sold in the Philippines in 2016.
Manila port upgrades
In Manila, ATI will take delivery of two brand-new quay cranes and other cargo handling equipment this year as it further boosts operational efficiency and safety at Manila South Harbor, which serves as one of two international container gateways into Metro Manila.
“Manila South Harbor delivered its best performance in 2016, handling over 1.0 million TEUs for the first time in a single operational year, while operating at 65 percent yard capacity and 60 percent berth utilization. These statistics are indicative that the port can handle more ships and cargoes for industries,” the company said.
ATI also highlighted the productivity of its main terminal, where it was able to record production of more than 30 gross crane moves per hour in several months of 2016.
Gross crane moves per hour (GMPH) is a performance metric indicating how many containers are loaded or unloaded from ships in an hour; a rate of 30 GMPH is comparable to the performance of ports in Singapore and Hong Kong, ATI said, indicating a competitive level of efficiency at Manila South Harbor.