SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – A faster, cheaper transport system will soon be available to cargo shippers in Central and Northern Luzon when a new feeder service that will ship containers from Manila to Subic begins its operation in July.
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced last Friday that a Manila-Subic shuttle service operated by the PTC Agency & Transport, Inc. will serve as a common feeder for shipping lines serving locators and shippers in and around Northern Luzon.
The service, which will have a twice-a-week schedule, is scheduled for its maiden call on July 8 at the Manila International Container Port. It will arrive in Subic the following morning.
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, who welcomed the shuttle project as a new gain for the Subic Bay Freeport, pointed out that it would make shipping more efficient and also help address difficulties that shipping lines and truckers face because of the truck ban imposed by the Manila city government.
Garcia also said that the Subic Bay Freeport would generate additional income from the feeder service, as it would increase ship calls in this free port.
“The common complaint of shippers in Manila is that we have very few ship calls here. But once the feeder service is established, eventually there will be an increase in container volume, thus attracting major shipping lines to make their calls here,” Garcia said.
Garcia added that because of this new development the SBMA is looking at doubling the current volume of cargo unloaded at Subic’s container terminal.
The SBMA official also pointed out that Subic is a better alternative to shipping via Manila, as it would be cheaper and more convenient for shippers, especially those in Central and Northern Luzon, to load and unload their cargo here.
“Out of the 2.8 million containers that are shipped through the port of Manila every year, 450,000 of these go to Central Luzon. So it is definitely cheaper and more convenient if they ship and deliver from here,” he said.
Garcia also said that the SBMA would coordinate closely with Manila North Tollways Corp. regarding the maintenance of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in order to accommodate trucks that will be coming in and out of Subic.