International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) new Container Freight Station (CFS) at the Subic Bay Freeport is at the forefront of ensuring the faster movement of goods in the Northern and Central Luzon markets. The two regions continue to grow, driven by industrial centers like Subic, Clark, Bataan, and Tarlac.
Launched last year, the CFS is one of Subic Bay International Corp.’s (SBITC) value-added services. The CFS, envisioned to serve as a regional distribution center (RDC), makes the more efficient movement of goods possible because of its quicker clearing periods compared to other RDCs. It saves time, cuts costs, thereby helping improve margins for companies doing business with other countries.
“The CFS is a multi-user logistics facility especially beneficial for the growing e-commerce and m-commerce markets such as businesses looking into Amazon style same day delivery services into major urban areas in Region 3 and certain parts of the Greater Manila Area. Big box retailers can likewise use the CFS as the consolidated centers for their Northern and Central Luzon stores,” says Roberto Locsin, head of SBITC.
The CFS has allotted areas for import and export, dangerous goods, and customs inspection. It can expand double its capacity and is capable of stuffing and stripping eight containers simultaneously. It is the first and only facility of its kind in Central Luzon.
“Luzon businesses can benefit from SBITC’s direct services to all of the major intra-Asia ports which provides access to the rest of the world. Many of the same vessels that call Manila now call Subic and in many cases, transit times have improved to the same destinations,” he adds.
Recently, Evergreen Marine Corp., Taiwan’s largest shipping company, launched its Korea-Taiwan-Philippines (KTP) service in Subic and included ICTSI’s New Container Terminals (NCT) 1 and 2 to its port rotation. The service plies the ports of Incheon and Kwang Yang, South Korea; Kaoshiung, Taiwan; and Batangas and Subic Bay, Philippines.
During the inaugural call of KTP service’s 1,440-TEU boxship Cape Fulmar, the two quay cranes of SBITC handled close to 400 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU). Each averaged 40 and 33 moves per hour.
Currently, SBITC has on-boarded three of the top cargo consolidators in the Philippines for the Subic CFS: ECU Worldwide, International Consolidators Phils. Inc. (ICPI), and Keihin Everett Forwarding Co. Inc. SBITC welcomed these consolidators and other interested parties to develop the LCL (less container load) business in the region.
“With the Subic Bay Freeport serving as the gateway of Northern and Central Luzon to global markets, ICTSI has positioned itself as the company that would facilitate the efficient movement of products in the area. Its establishment of the CFS adds value to its operations and, in turn, improve its clients’ productivity,” says Mr. Locsin.
He adds: “The Filipino businessman now has access to a premier port that connects their business to the rest of the world ideally located in one of the best deep water harbors in Asia with global carriers, efficient and reliable trucking services, and trustworthy brokers and forwarders who now call Subic home.”
As part of efforts in marketing Subic, SBITC gathered over 100 members of the Philippine International Sea Freight Forwarders Association (PISFA), and government officials from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a business forum at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
The forum focused on Subic as a strategic port in the country that links Northern and Central Luzon products and businesses to global markets. The forum also reintroduced Subic to PISFA who are excited to learn about the improved accreditation process at SBMA.
“We continue to encourage shipping lines to utilize the container terminals in Subic. This meeting with PISFA puts us in the right direction to achieve our goal. Along with our commitment with SBMA and the BOC, ICTSI and SBITC are one with all stakeholders in making sure that businesses will continue to grow in Subic,” says Mr. Locsin.
With the CFS, a one-stop shop inside the NCT, and world-class highways linking Luzon, the Subic Bay Freeport is ready to facilitate growing businesses in the region.