RP Container Traffic Up 11%
Container port traffic in the country grew 10.6 percent in 2012 as the Filipino-owned International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), which operates the country's biggest container port, maximizes port efficiency with the use of technology.
According to Christian Gonzalez, vice president and head of Asian region of ICTSI, the company is leveraging on technology - from vessel planning to monitoring through a first-of-its-kind in port operations, radio frequency identification - to improve efficiencies at the Manila International Container Terminal.
In his presenting at the Philippine Ports & Shipping Conference held in Makati recently, Gonzalez, however, noted that other neighboring countries performed better than the Philippines in 2012. Korea improved by 6.4 percent, Pakistan 10.9 percent, China 12.6 percent, Indonesia 13 percent, Malaysia 13.9 percent, Bangladesh 24.3 percent, India 27.1 percent, and Vietnam, which posted the highest growth of 36.2 percent in container port traffic among Asian countries over the same period based on the World Bank 2012 MaritimeReview.
ICTSI, which has aggressively expanded operations in other countries, said the increase in volume brings not only economic prosperity, but operational challenges that test the capabilities and the know-how of even the most experienced port operator.
Aside from its flagship operation in Manila, ICTSI operates a port in Tagum City in Mindanao. Outside the Philippines, ICTSI has ports each in Yantai in China, Okinawa in Japan, Muara in Brunei, Chennai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, and two terminals in Indonesia in Makassar and Jakarta.
As its base, the MICT serves as its benchmark for most of its operations abroad where innovative solutions are sourced and share across its global portfolio.
"In our experience, maximizing port efficiency is attained and sustained through the speed by which a port operator is able to identify an existing or potential challenge, and the effectivity of implementing the response to that challenge," he said.
ICTSI responds the challenges through technology, he stressed.
"Our group-wide investment on a new terminal operating system, Navis SPARCS N4, has become one of the main engines of our technology push in achieving our operational commitments to our clients," he said. …