Sep 142013

MANILA, Philippines – The volume of cargo shipped in and out of the Philippines grew 5.3 percent in the first half, mainly driven by the continued expansion of the local economy according to data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Total cargo volume reached 97.96 million metric tons (MT) from January to June or 4.93 million higher than the 93.03 million MT recorded in the same period last year.

Cargo shipped within the Philippines rose 8.2 percent to 40.77 million MT, while cargo shipped in and out of the country climbed 3.34 percent to 57.18 million MT.

Private ports handled 58.5 million MT, accounting for 59.7 percent of the total cargo volume, while government-run ports handled 37.5 million MT for a share of 40.3 percent.

PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana attributed the increase in cargo volume to the expansion of the country’s domestic output as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) by 7.6 percent in the first semester, from 6.4 percent in the same period a year ago.

For the second quarter alone, the country’s GDP grew 7.5 percent from 6.3 percent in the same period last year.

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Sta. Ana also traced the improvement to the increase in cargo volume handled in 16 port management offices (PMOs).

The port of Tagbilaran booked the highest growth of 49.7 percent followed by Legazpi with 46.3 percent due to the increase in domestic shipment of aggregates, heavy equipment and construction materials and the export of copra, limestone ores and crude minerals as well as import of cement clinkers and grains, coco oil, and copper.

The port of Limay was the top performer in terms of volume with 11.09 million MT followed by Surigao with 11.08 million MT, Batangas with 10.62 million MT, and North Harbor with 9.36 million MT.

Among the base ports, the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) ranked first with 9.8 million MT, followed by North Harbor with 6.73 million MT, while the volume handled by the ports of Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, and South Harbor ranged between one million MT to three million MT.

In terms of containerized cargo, volume inched up by 0.31 percent to 2.548 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 2.54 million TEUs a year earlier.

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