The Philippines is another archipelagic nation teeming with ports that make it possible for her to conduct both regional and international trade. Her ports total 429 in number including international gateways to the pacific trade routes and inter-island ports that make it possible for locals to move from one island to another comfortably. With 7,461 island to move through across three geographical regions namely Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon, the country has clear need for a well established port system .
This is the largest port in the country and also its gateway to international shipping and trade. The port of Manila has an impressive number of terminals and facilities that process maritime trade occurring in the Metro Manila area. It has 22 available berths and 12 piers with an annual cargo tonnage of around 75 million and container volume of 4.5 million TEUs annually.
The harbor is part natural but with manmade elements and while it’s the country’s premier international port for commerce it also sees some cruise ship traffic. it comprises of four main sections: North harbor, South harbor, Manilla international container terminal and Harbor centre terminal.
Most of the domestic cargo is handled in the North harbor while the South harbor takes care of the international cargo. Between these two harbors the port has the capability to handle liquid, bulk, break bulk, containers and Ro-Ro cargo. The port also handles crude oil imports at their CBM facility located in Rosario. The modern container terminal makes it possible for the port to handle incoming and outgoing container traffic. they have also expanded the North port passenger terminal to accommodate more passengers boosting tourism in Metro Manilla.
This port of Cebu has suffered serious damage in the past following Typhoon Haiya also known as Typhoon Yolanda that hit the port in 2013. The damage was moderate and the port has resumed its normal operations and remains the main passenger port in the nation. Locally referred to as Pantalan sa Sugbo, the port of Cebu handles cargo traffic in Metro Cebu and its environs. This is the largest domestic port in the Phillipines serving the local population’s movements especially from Mindanao and Vsayas but it’s also serves the international cruise ships and their passengers.
The port has a commercial aspect to it as well since Cebu is a principal location for regional and international trade. This port is also known as Cebu baseport and it’s divided into four main management sections: the Cebu international port, 5th Street port, Pier No.3 and Ludo pier/port. The Cebu domestic port has three passenger terminals for inter island traffic and two ferry terminals.
This port is locally referred to a Batangas pier but it is far much more than just a pier. Covering 150 hectares the port is the alternative to the Port of Manila when it comes to handling large consignments of cargo and containers. Located in the southern part of the city of Manila the port is involved in handling most of the cargo going in and out of the islands in the archipelago and large shipping companies tend to use it as a lay-berth port.
The container terminal in this port has been modernized leading to big players in the South China Sea trade like Japan transferring some of their most important operations to the port from the Port of Manila. There are three passenger terminals located in the port but the port seems to have a better reputation as a commercial port than a passenger port.
The Port of Subic is located in the previous United States Naval base in Subic Bay which happens to be a Subic Bay freeport zone. This means that the port is of strategic importance to the country in addition to being the country’s most important economic gateways. It houses hundreds of investment projects and has a very modern and well equipped container terminal that is capable of responding to the sea trading needs of Central and Northern Luzon. The annual capacity of the port is 300,000 TEUs for two new berths with the potential to handle even more. This is in addition to the three already existing terminals: the Boton Wharf fertilizer terminal, Leyte Wharf grain bulk terminal and Sattler pier general cargo terminal.
Perhaps one of its most important roles is that it’s home to the fourth largest ship building facility globally under the auspices of Hanjin Heavy Industries and construction.
This port recently had a terminal inaugurated as the biggest port passenger port terminal in the Philippines. The terminal in Port of Cagayan de Oro has green areas, prayer rooms, play areas for kids and emergency medical rooms. This takes the already busiest port in Northern Mindanao and puts it on the map as a modern port for cruise ships from all over the world. The terminal even has security checkpoints and offices for the coast guard, tourist police and quarantine.
Apart from the massive passenger traffic this port caters to, it also handles Ro-Ro cargo between Mindanao and Manila, Batangas and Visayas.