The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) flagship operation and the Philippines’ largest, most technologically advanced container terminal, capped 2016 with a milestone as it reached its first year-to-date two millionth TEU move last December. Nominated among the world’s top container terminals for several years, the MICT has an annual capacity of 2.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).
The 2 millionth TEU container was offloaded from SITC Osaka, which is operated by Chinese megaliner SITC Container Lines. The container vessel originated from Ningbo in China. SITC is one of MICT’s longtime clients with regular vessel calls to the Port of Manila. MICT reached its first 1 million-TEU move in December 2002.
Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Regional Head of Asia-Pacific at MICT, and Qing Quan, SITC Container Lines Philippines, Inc. General Manager, held a ceremony to commemorate the milestone.
“Today represents a significant achievement for MICT as we continue with our mandate to provide the highest level of service to our clients and stakeholders, most especially to the Filipino people. As the gateway to the Philippine market, MICT consistently seeks to improve our operational efficiency to ensure fast and uninterrupted flow of trade in and out of the port,” said Mr. Gonzalez.
Terminal utilization at the MICT has significantly improved since the completion of Yard 7 late in November 2015. Yard 7, which is part of MICT’s PHP5 billion expansion project, increased the terminal’s capacity by 18 percent from 2.5 million to 2.75 million TEUs.
The 2 million milestone also triggers a multi-billion peso capacity improvement commitment with the Philippine Ports Authority that requires ICTSI to commission five additional post-Panamax quay cranes along with corresponding yard equipment, and build at least another berth by 2019.
Also, key to achieving the 2 million TEU milestone was the rollout the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), an online container booking platform, in October 2015, which significantly improved and optimized the flow of trucks in and out of the terminal.
Mr. Gonzalez explains: “The construction of Yard 7 and the implementation of TABS last year gave us the flexibility and efficiency we need to perform optimally. We have more projects in the pipeline like the revival of the rail line which will link MICT with Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal.”
Aside from establishing an intermodal link between its Manila and Laguna terminals, ICTSI also submitted a proposal to the Philippine Department of Transportation to build the Cavite Gateway Terminal (CGT), a USD30 million common-user barge and roll on–roll off terminal in Tanza, Cavite. The 115,000-TEU facility that will be built in a six-hectare property, will also be directly linked with MICT. The transshipping of cargo from MICT to CGT and vice-versa will serve the dynamic economic activity of Cavite, and lessen the number of truck trips in Manila by approximately 140,000 annually.
In closing, Mr. Gonzalez said, “All of these projects are aimed at maximizing the efficiency of our operation and ensuring uninterrupted movement in the supply chain regardless of the season or fluctuation in demand. We continue to work with our stakeholders and partners in the government in formulating and implementing strategies for the benefit of the industry and the national economy.”