THE Mindanao Container Terminal Inc. (MCT) posted an increase in its containerized cargo volume for the first quarter of the year, partly boosted by the opening of a distribution center of Nestlé Philippines near the port.

Latest data showed that MCT’s containerized volume reached 37,940 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) during January to March, up by more than 50 percent from the previous year’s 24,868 TEUs.

“The nickel-mining project in Surigao boosted our cargo volume in the past three months, and we expect that it will continue until the end of the year,” MCT seaport department manager Dante Clarito said.

“Our regular clients such as Del Monte, Pilipinas Kao and Nestlé continue to have strong business, resulting to larger cargo volume for MCT,” he added.

Nestlé’s distribution center is aimed at complementing the company’s other distribution centers in Luzon, as it sends and receives products manufactured by the Cagayan de Oro factory.

It also handles imports of raw materials for use by local Nestlé factories, particularly for filled milk and coffee products.

“Volume from small- and medium-enterprises in nearby areas has likewise increased their shipments for the period, further boosting our volume just like last year,” Clarito said.

Last year MCT handled 118,664 TEUs, or 10 percent higher than the 109,028 TEUs in 2008.

From the total cargo volume, 66 percent came from the domestic trade, while 34 percent?came from foreign trade. The bulk of the cargo volume continues to come from its large clients such as Nestlé and Del Monte.

MCT officials and cargo-handling operator Mindanao Container Terminal Services Inc. (MCTSI) are still in negotiations with carriers such as Maersk Line to transfer all of its calls near the terminal, which is located in an industrial park in Misamis Oriental.

The port can handle up to 350,000 TEUs a year.

MCTSI is a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc.  Currently, at least five international carriers call at the port, including American Presidents Lines, Maersk Line, Regional Container Lines, Pacific Eagle Lines and Mariana Express.

Local carriers that call on the port are MCC Transport, Lorenzo Shipping Lines and NMC Container Lines.

article by VG Cabuag of Business Mirror

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