By Jonas Reyes
Subic Bay Freeport is now the port of call of global shipping company Evergreen Line, a shipping line based in Taoyuan City in Taiwan, after delivering its container vans on Wednesday, April 21, aboard the 1,440-TEU vessel MV Cape Fulmar.
Touted as the fifth largest shipping firm in the world, Evergreen Line operates in 240 ports in 80 countries, bringing the number of global shipping companies using this premier Freeport to five.
According to Evergreen boarding officer Andy Dela Cuesta, the arrival of Cape Fulmar marked the start of Evergreen’s once-a-week rotated schedule from the port city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan to Batangas and Subic in the Philippines, and back to Kaohsiung.
Cape Fulmar, which has berthed at Subic’s New Container Terminal (NCT), unloaded 200 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vans and 70 forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) container vans for companies in Subic and Clark like Yokohama, Lepanto Tiles, and Coam Philippines.
Before it departs, the ship will load 39 containers of products for shipment, Dela Cuesta added.
The Evergreen official also said that some of their customers in Manila are now considering putting up warehouses in Subic, noting the easy access to Subic Freeport via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).
The entry of Evergreen in Subic, according to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Wilma Eisma, “will definitely boost the timely transhipment of goods in Central and Northern Luzon and improve the competitiveness of these areas in terms of the delivery of raw materials and finished products.”
“Time is one major concern of investors and manufacturers in Central and Northern Luzon—their raw materials should arrive on time and their finished products must be delivered as scheduled. And this is where Subic comes in to provide ease and cost-efficiency,” Eisma added.
The SBMA administrator also said that as her administration is keen on increasing container traffic in the Subic Bay Freeport, the agency is actively promoting the Subic as an ideal shipping port, pointing out that it is the only port in the country’s Western seaboard that can accommodate a sizeable quantity of cargo container.