Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ICTSI, SBMA hail new terminal as ‘prime link’

MONTHS after it won a concession to operate the new container port terminal in Subic Bay, publicly listed International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is pushing the facility as the prime trade link in the main island of Luzon.

Together with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)—owner of New Container Terminal-1—ICTSI is trying to market the port terminal to import and export companies in Central and Northern Luzon that still prefer to do business in the Port of Manila for shipping their goods.

“The strategic location of Subic to your manufacturing plants means a significant decrease in transport costs and faster delivery time of cargo,” said Ferdinand Hernandez, SBMA’s senior deputy administrator for operations.

Subic’s proximity to the economic zones of Northern and Central Luzon makes it the ideal international trading gateway in the region, the SBMA said.

“With our strategic location, world-class port infrastructure, competitive port tariffs and the expertise of an international port operator, Subic is ready and positioned to serve industrial locators in the region,” Hernandez said.

He underscored the newly opened Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway that has significantly reduced trucking transit times and fees in conjunction with Subic as gateway to other points of Luzon.

“Unlike other ports located in metropolitan areas in Luzon, Subic is traffic jam-free and has no truck ban,” Hernandez added.

The new container terminal in the free port’s Cubi Point was developed with money given by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation.

ICTSI created Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) to manage its port holdings in Subic Bay and holds a 25-year concession to operate the New Container Terminal-1.

The terminal has an area of 13.16 hectares and an annual capacity of 300,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units). Its berth consists of a 280-meter wharf with a controlling depth of 13 meters and is equipped with two post-Panamax quay cranes.

Over 80 reefer stations are installed in the container yard and the gate has six truck lanes designed to keep the flow of traffic through the terminal as smooth as possible.

“SBITC is investing to further improve terminal operations and to construct other support facilities,” said Aurelio Garcia, SBITC general manager.

The company intends to buy more container-handling equipment as the volume throughput increases in the coming years.

Garcia said his company also invested in human-resources training and development.

Additional money was put into a terminal operating system for gates and container yard management, as SBITC plans “to fully computerize operations,” Garcia added.

The company’s present clients include American President Lines, Wan Hai Lines and Tasman Orient.

Established in 2000, SBITC is the exclusive international container terminal operator at the Subic Bay Free Port. It operated the NSD Terminal there for seven years before transferring container-handling operations to the NCT-1 in May. Written by VG Cabuag - Business Mirror

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