July 28, 2014 9:16 pm [ manilatimes.net ]
by Rosalie C. Periabras
The modern Batangas Container Terminal (BCT), managed by listed Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI), continued to step up its role as trade facilitator in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) during the second quarter as it provided businesses with a viable port option amid trucking and logistics constraints imposed in Manila during the same period.
Emerging from a strong first quarter which saw cargo volume grow by 194 percent, BCT sustained its momentum into the second quarter as container throughput further accelerated, this time by as much as 254 percent. BCT’s container volume from January to June already surpassed its entire 2013 rate.
The performance of Batangas Port since the fourth quarter of 2013 to date has been exceptional, with volumes significantly rising even prior to Manila’s expanded truck ban – indicative of the natural shift toward Batangas for cargoes coming from Calabarzon as dictated by free market forces and customer preferences.
The shipments handled by BCT are bound for Calabarzon, the region meant to be specifically catered by the Batangas Port. Cargoes, moreover, are delivered and shipped out aboard an increasing number of international carriers now frequenting Batangas.
From two regular weekly ship calls, led by MCC Transport’s Intra-Asia 4 (IA4) and Philippine Feeder 4 (PH4) services, eight vessels are now servicing BCT, which connects Calabarzon shippers directly to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia and other key regional and global markets.
Just recently, ACX Diamond and ACX Pearl operated by NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Line successfully discharged containers from Japan in Batangas. Encouraged by strong market response, more international carriers are now keen on including BCT in their port rotations.
“We have a great product in Batangas Port which is fully equipped with all the industry expertise one could expect from an experienced Filipino port operator backed by global port leader DP World,” ATI executive vice president Andrew Hoad said in a statement.
The ATI official underlined that BCT is ready and capable of handling Calabarzon’s shipments given its complement of two modern quay cranes, four rubber-tired gantry cranes and other cargo handling equipment for an annual throughput capacity of 350,000 TEUs (twenty-footer equivalent units), enabling it to sufficiently accommodate Calabarzon’s current and future cargoes.