THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said cargo and passenger volume through domestic ports recorded sustained increases in the first half of 2014.
Data from the PPA showed that total cargo throughput as of June grew by 12.33 million metric tons (MMT) or 13.28 percent as compared to last year.
The PPA said that a substantial increase in cargo throughput was observed in 14 Port Management Offices (PMOs), with three ports showing the biggest growth — Surigao with 86 percent, Iloilo with 59.6 percent and Puerto Princesa with 17.18 percent.
Among 24 PMOs, Batangas was the top performer in terms of cargo volume with a share of 11.53 MMT or 10.97 percent of the total cargo throughput nationwide, even surpassing the combined throughput of PDO Southern Mindanao and its PMOs.
This was followed by PMOs North Harbor with 10.75 MMT, Limay with 8.66 MMT and Puerto Princesa with 7.01 MMT.
Private ports handled 67.5 MMT, or 61.4 percent of total cargo volume nationwide, while government ports accounted for 40.6 MMT, or 38.6 percent.
Meanwhile, containerized cargoes handled nationwide fell by 2.9 percent, reaching 2.58 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) compared to 2.65 million TEUs recorded in 2013.
The PPA said the North Harbor continues to rank first in terms of volume of domestic cargo handled during the period with 504,888 TEUs.
Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), on the other hand, continues to handle the largest volume of foreign containerized cargo with 857,787 TEUs, followed by South Harbor with 459,795 TEUs and Davao with 123,266 TEUs.
The recent truck ban imposed by the City Government of Manila, which was lifted only in September, is one of the factors being considered as having contributed to the decline in container volume by TEUs.
MICT data showed a 3.8 percent drop in total TEUs from 924,525 TEUs in 2013 to 889,128 TEUs in 2014 or a difference of 35,397 TEUs, while data for the month of June alone showed a drop of 5.66 percent from 157,734 TEUs in 2013 to 146,918 TEUs in 2014.
For the South Harbor, there was a decrease of 59,939 TEUs or 11.7 percent compared to the year earlier figure.
Meanwhile, ship calls for the period went down by 2.46 percent from 185,630 in 2013 or 181,068 this year. Domestic and foreign ship calls decreased by 2.33 percent and 6.96 percent, respectively.