The Port of Manila gained two notches to number 36 in the ranking of the top 100 Container Ports by Lloyd’s List and Containerization International for 2016, boosted by a 4.3 percent annual increase in container volume, Lloyd’s announced.
In a statement, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said that the Philippines was able to increase its ranking after the country was shielded from the slowdown in China that hurt other emerging nations in 2015, as well as an increase in government efforts to unlock bottlenecks in state spending and attract investment.
The report from the UK-based shipping analysts and insurers noted that the Philippines’ gross domestic product growth exceeded most expectations, growing by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“The Port of Manila registered a 4.3 percent hike in container throughput, with principal facility the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) posting a 4.4 percent increase in containers handled,” the report said.
The report also highlighted the implementation of the terminal appointment booking system (TABS) ahead of the anticipated increase in container movements prior to the Christmas holiday season; the inauguration of Berth 7 at the MICT; and the revival of International Container Terminal Services Inc.’s (ICTSI) inland container depot in Laguna as factors contributing to the improvement in Manila’s ranking.
TABS is an electronic platform for booking containers in the two international ports of Manila. The system was developed as an alternative to restrictive road policies imposed by the Manila City government in 2014 that resulted in massive congestion at the Manila terminals.
Among the ports which registered strong performance were the Manila International Container Terminal and Manila South Harbor for international cargoes, North Harbor for domestic cargoes, as well as Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Iloilo.
In spite of the growth in 2016, the PPA is revising its forecast lower for this year due to vital developments over the past two months.
PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago explained that the tapered expectations are attributable to the continuing volatility of the Philippine peso as well as the expected retraction of the mining industry in the Philippines.
Among the areas most affected by the issues clouding the Philippine mining industry are ports under the Port Management Offices of Surigao, Nasipit, Palawan, Batangas, Manila, and Northern Luzon. These ports handle the bulk of the shipments from the mining firms such as nickel, manganese, zinc, smelted copper, and refined copper, as well pumice, marble, and silica sand.