CONTAINER terminals managed by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) in the Subic Bay Freeport are preparing for increased cargo traffic with South Korea and Taiwan after a Taiwan shipping firm announced it is launching a new direct service at key ports of the three trading economies.
Evergreen Marine Corp., Taiwan’s largest shipping firm, is launching its Korea-Taiwan-Philippines (KTP) service in Subic on April 19, with ICTSI-operated New Container Terminals 1 and 2 facilitating its port rotation.
“We congratulate Evergreen for the launch of the new service. We also thank Evergreen for recognizing Subic as a key gateway in the Philippines. Our inclusion in the KTP service is a clear indication that the markets of central and northern Luzon are growing, and will benefit from another large global carrier participating in this growth,” said Roberto Locsin, general manager of ICTSI subsidiary Subic Bay International Terminal Corp.
The KTP weekly service follows the following port rotation: Incheon and Kwangyang, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Batangas, Manila, and Subic, Philippines; and back to Kaohsiung.
In December 2016, the Taiwan Marine and Port Bureau (TMPB) expressed interest to partner with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to add container transshipment traffic between the ports of Subic and Taiwan.
TMPB raised the possibility of partnering with the Philippines during a recent port visit to Subic. The SBMA, meanwhile, has asked the TMPB to encourage industries in Taichung to use Subic as the regional gateway.
Both Korea and Taiwan are major trading partners of the Philippines, ICTSI noted. Bilateral trade with Korea amounted to $13.4 billion in 2014, while bilateral trade with Taiwan amounted to $7.85 billion in 2015.
Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone hosts 52 Taiwan firms with $500 million worth of investments and over 12,000 jobs generated.