PH cargo throughput rises 9% on brisk export volume

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CARGO throughput in Philippine ports through the first nine months of the year climbed 9 percent from the same period a year earlier, boosted by strong exports, the latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed.

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Total cargo throughput from January to September this year reached 183.730 million metric tons (MMT), compared with 168.074 MMT registered in the same period last year.

Philippine exports posted the highest growth percentage in cargo volume, pulling up the country’s total cargo throughput higher by 9 percent in the first 9 months of the year.

In value terms, however, exports declined in value terms by 7.8 percent year-on-year for the January to August period, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Foreign cargo volume posted a 12.72 percent rise in traffic anchored on the 15 percent increase in export volume from 47.945 MMT in 2015 to 55.134 MMT for the period in review. Import volume likewise posted a double-digit increase at 10.75 percent from 55.490 MMT to 61.459 MMT for the January to September period while domestic cargo volume posted a modest growth of 3.87 percent to 67.139 MMT from 64.638 MMT last year.

“This is a great indication that Philippine exporters are gearing up to compete in the international market and would not be left out in the run-up to Christmas,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago explained. He further observed, “The double-digit growth in the import volume suggests that imported Christmas cargoes have also started to come in.”

“However, even with the strong performance of both sectors, our ports remain to operate under optimum condition and we do not expect any slowdown in the movement at any given time,” Santiago added.

Increases in cargo volume were observed at the ports of Agusan, Mindoro, Bicol, Western Leyte/Biliran, and Negros Oriental/Siquijor. The North Port remains as the top performer in terms of domestic cargo volume with a share of 17.87 MMT or 24.8 percent of the total domestic volume and 9.73 percent of the total cargo throughput nationwide followed by Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Zamboanga.

Container traffic registered a 9.36 percent increase in volume with 4.684 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared with 4.283 million TEUs processed in the same period last year. Of these, foreign boxes posted a total 2.869 million TEUs while domestic cargoes constituted 1.814 million TEUs.  Of the total foreign containers, import boxes registered 1.450 million TEUs while export boxes reached 1.419 million TEUs, increasing 13.97 percent and 9.11 percent, respectively.

As expected, the North Port ranked first in terms of volume of domestic boxes handled during the period while the Manila International Container Terminal handled the bulk of foreign containerized cargoes, followed by the Manila South Harbor and Davao Port.

The Philippines also continues its rise in the cruise tourism industry with foreign passenger volume recorded at 73,348, higher than last year’s period, which recorded 54,021 passengers. Domestic passenger traffic, meanwhile, posted a 10.71 percent rise to 49.545 million passengers from 44.752 million passengers last year.
Shipcalls for the period increased by 7.26 percent, from 286,166 in 2015 to 306,949 this year. Domestic shipcalls slightly grew by 6.99 percent while foreign shipcalls rose by 17.67 percent.

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