THE Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT), one of the emerging ports in the southern part of the country, expects to handle more volume this year on the back of strong business activity in the region.

MCT port department manager Dante Clarito said the facility may hit a higher volume this year between 10 percent and 20 percent from 2010’s cargo throughput.

“We are banking such growth to the strong performance of our base clients, like Del Monte and Pilipinas Kao and our new clients from the woodcraft industry,” Clarito said.

Banana exporters, as well as importers of raw materials, are also expected to increase their shipments this year, which will all be handled at MCT, operated by the country’s largest port operator, the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).

“MCT is also expecting our current direct callers to deploy larger vessels or increase their frequency this year that will result to more cargo space for Philippine-based importers and exporters,” Clarito said.

Since ICTSI took over the operations of the MCT some two years ago, the cargo volume of the facility in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental continues to improve.

Last year the MCT posted a 51-percent increase in containerized cargoes handled to 180,308 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) from the previous year’s volume of 118,687 TEUs.

The increase was also three times higher than the 10-percent growth forecast of MCT in 2010.

The MCT has a total of five direct callers, including American Presidents Lines, Mariana Express, Maersk Line, Regional Container Lines and Pacific Eagle Lines. These callers maintain at least once-a-week call at MCT but can increase their calls to twice or even thrice a week depending on the demand.

Last year MCT started a good trade of agricultural products with Brunei and North Sulawesi as a result of the ongoing private-public sector initiatives in the area.

The products that MCT handled include beauty soap and cosmetics, construction materials like cement and paints, banana, cacao, mango planting materials and other fruits seeds, and alcoholic beverages for consumption in hotels and restaurants.

Imported products such as construction materials, including tiles and roofs, and virgin coconut oil, including essential oils, tuna, wood moldings, knockdown houses, yellow corn, copra, furniture, charcoals and handicrafts.

article by VG Cabuag of Business Mirror

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