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PPA expects 7-8% growth in cargo traffic in 2023

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it is expecting 7-8% growth in cargoes this year after recording zero congestion and backlog in Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Manila South Harbor (MSH) in January.

For 2023, the port regulator is set to come up with more projects and appeal for a pullout of overstaying cargoes to make the needed space in the ports.

“We’re still optimistic, we are looking at a 7-8% growth this year as far as cargo traffic is concerned,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said, adding that the country continues consuming, “and as our population grows, consumption will eventually get higher and higher.”

PPA said that in January, MICT reached 80.75% yard utilization, up 9.1 percentage points year on year, while MSH recorded a 0.3 percentage point decrease to 67.8% versus last year.

“Yard utilization is naturally dropping back to the optimal rate which is 50% or below now that the holiday season is over,” the PPA said.

The port regulator said that the yard utilization rate is dependent on the cargo shippers and consignees’ withdrawal of their containers from the port.

In December last year, the yard utilization rate reached 85% in both international terminals.

However, MICT is said to still record high container traffic with 7,765 containers or 12,480.75 twenty-foot equivalent units long overstaying at the port as of Jan. 31.

Mr. Santiago said PPA-covered ports will try to accommodate as much as they can but will seek empty containers not to overstay at the ports to make space for containers with cargo.

“As much as possible, we try to accommodate them in PPA terminals, but we cannot accommodate them all,” Mr. Santiago said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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