PPA to review 2017 cargo volume forecast

MANILA-- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will review its cargo volume forecast for 2017 after posting favorable performance for the past five months of the year.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the strong performance of the imports industry and the robust domestic market insulated the agency from the effects of the depreciating foreign exchange rate and the reduced mining industry operations.

I directed all Port Management Offices nationwide to revisit their targets for 2017 based on the strong performance of the agency for the period in review, Santiago said in a statement.

The continued robust port operations are mainly attributed to the sustained robust economic activity in our ports amplified by strong domestic consumption and generally positive business atmosphere, he added.

The PPA chief attributed the strong performance in the operations of the Manila ports to the efficient movement of cargoes since the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) as well as other decongestion measures.

Latest cargo data showed that total cargo volume as of end May grew by 9.36 percent or 103.556 million metric tons (mmt) compared to 94.692 mmt handled in the same period last year.

Domestic cargoes went up by 9.27 percent or 3.583 mmt, with 42.251 mmt registered this period against last year's 38.669 mmt due to the rise in quantity of trade transactions that flowed in and out of the ports and driven by the high dependence on water-borne transport for the shipment of commodities within the country.

Foreign cargo throughput likewise posted a 9.43 percent increase from 56.023 MMTs in 2016 to 61.304 MMTs this year.

Container traffic notably progressed to 2.911 million TEUs this year which is 13.71 percent higher than the 2.560 million TEUs handled in the same period in 2016.

Foreign container volume contributed most in the recorded improvement of 12.73 percent (195,056 TEUs) while domestic containers recorded 15.17 percent (156,056 TEUs).

Meanwhile, passenger traffic sustained its upward performance with 2.60 percent (832,311) as of end of May. The enhanced passenger volume was steered by the amplified volume of travelers during the observance of the Holy Week in addition to the continuous reliance of the sea-traveling public on Ro-Ro vessels, fast crafts and motorized bancas as primary mode of transportation for domestic interisland connectivity.

As for productivity, Manila ports' performance indicates no sign of congestion problems, with combined yard utilization of 57 percent, berth occupancy rate of 57 percent and quay crane productivity of 26 moves an hour per crane.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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