NORTHERN Mindanao is fast becoming the country’s major transshipment hub with more international cargoes expected to pass through the Mindanao International Container Terminal Port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental starting this year.

This after the Singapore-based Marianas Express Line Philippines, Inc. picked MICTP as among its major transhipment points for containers and cargoes from and to numerous ports in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the signing of the supplemental service level agreement with MICTP at the Phividec Industrial Estate compound last week, Mr. David Lim, country manager for Marianas Express Line (MEL), said their company sees MICTP as a strategic port that could expedite the ever-increasing flow of international cargoes in the region.

“[This] is a product of years of research and subsequently, we found this area as very encouraging to serve the growing international trade,” Lim said.

Mr. Jose Manuel de Jesus, president and general manager of Mindanao International Container Terminal Services, Inc., said making MICTP as a transhipment hub is a realization of the company’s vision ten years ago.

“This idea is borne out of hard labor and, today, it has happened,” de Jesus said.

As a transhipment port, MICTP would serve as MEL’s hub of operations where cargoes from the Asia Pacific and other Asian countries, Middle East, Europe and New Zealand can easily be transported to its port of destination.

The Port of Singapore, for instance, tranships about a fifth of the world’s shipping containers, making it the world’s busiest port. It has significantly transformed Singapore as the region’s biggest economy. Similarly, with Mindanao’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region, becoming a transshipment hub could very well change the island’s economic landscape.

Phividec Administrator Nimfa Along-Albania, on the other hand, said it is the vision of the Mindanao Container Port to pump prime the Mindanao economy.

“This is the first step towards the realization of that dream,” she said.

Bureau of Customs Collector Lowell L. Medija also said this new development will eventually make Northern Mindanao as number one in revenue collection. For now, the port of Cagayan de Oro and MICTP ranked second only to Cebu City in terms of revenue collection in the Visayas-Mindanao region.

During the first quarter of this year, MICTP posted more than fifty percent increase in its containerized cargo handling compared to last year. Data showed that containerized volume reached 37,940 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) during January to March, way above previous year’s 24,868 TEUs.

MICTP Seaport Department Head Dante Clarito attributed the increase to the continued growth of the manufacturing sector and the robust mining industry in the region.

PHOTO: Mindanao International Container Terminal Services, Inc. President Mr. Jose Manuel de Jesus (center) shakes hand with Mr. David Lim (2nd from right), country manager of Marianas Express Line Philippines, Inc., after the signing of the supplemental service level agreement last week which allows the port to be the transshipment hub for international containers and cargoes. Witnessing the signing ceremony are (from left) Atty. Noah Dimaporo, deputy collector for operations and administration of Mindanao Container Terminal, Bureau of Customs Collector Lowell L. Medija, and Phividec Administrator Nimfa Along-Albania (extreme right).

article by Nelson Constantino of Business Week Mindanao

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