Seaborne

SBMA Bullish on Subic Sea Trade

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects a stronger position in regional maritime trade this year following the first call in Clark Freeport on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from maritime giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), as well as relaunches the port visit of the Taiwanese shipping company Wan Hai.

SBMA President and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said weekly calls here by MSC, the world’s largest shipping line by capacity, will further bolster the business capacity of Subic, which has already generated 1.58 billion in imports and $1.03 billion in exports last year. .

“My dream for the Subic Bay Freeport is for it to be among the top 50 ports like Shanghai or Singapore. The fact that MSC, which is now the largest container shipping company in the world, chose Subic to be on its route trade not only gives Subic access to the world and vice versa, but also brings us one step closer to that goal,” Eisma said.

She added that this year, the SBMA aims to generate an import value of $1.77 billion and an export value of $1.42 billion, as the global economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic 19 begin to subside.

MSC, which operates in all major ports around the world, began its Subic program to expand its Seahorse Service loop in Southeast Asia with the voyage of MSC Sotiria III to Subic on February 23. The 2,475 TEU container ship arrived at the new container Subic Terminal after swinging to the port of Manila on February 21.

The first port call was attended by MSC Managing Director Pankaj Patki, SBMA Senior Deputy Operations Administrator Ronnie Yambao, Managing Director of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), Justin C. Tolentino, and representatives from various transportation and logistics agencies and customers.

Patki said the MSC Seahorse Service business loop will call at Subic on a weekly basis with three rotating container ships to provide full port coverage in Asia.

“MSC believes there is huge potential for growth, and we would like to meet the needs of customers in this region who have currently had to travel all the way to Manila to load their cargo,” Patki said, adding that more calls vessels in Subic will be implemented in the near future.

The MSC Seahorse Service trade loop includes Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Manila, Subic, Kaohsiung, Vung Tau and then back to Tanjung Pelepas. Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia both serve as transshipment hubs for the Swiss shipping line and link the rest of the Asian trade loop to Western and European trade services.

SBMA’s Yambao, meanwhile, said MSC is the 25th shipping line to service the Port of Subic.

“This is an important milestone for Subic Bay and the shipping industry in general, as it is an opportunity for the Freeport to be known globally in terms of logistics capability,” said- he declared.

Yambao added that the MSC should meet the needs of business locators not only in Subic, but also in Clark, Bataan and the rest of the economic zones in North Luzon.

MSC’s arrival came after the return of Wan Hai Lines, a Taiwanese company which had previously canceled its port rotation here due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It recently reopened its Subic Express Service (SES) route which includes Shekou, Subic, Batangas, Manila, Cebu, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong.

Subic Port currently has a container cargo capacity of 600,000 TEUs and also caters to different types of cargo like grain, dry bulk, oil and petroleum.

The 2021 report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development indicated the “predominance of Asia as the main area for maritime freight”.

He said that in 2020, Asian ports loaded about 4.4 billion tons of cargo, more than 41.3% of the total cargo loaded in ports around the world, and received 7.0 billion tons. , or 65.5% of the total goods unloaded worldwide.