Manila-Subic-Osaka shipping route mulled

CLARK FREEPORT—Increased trade and cargo volume is seen as the Philippine and Japan governments mull a Manila-Subic-Osaka route for major shipping lines.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Eduardo Jose L. Aliño said the Port of Osaka and the agency are exploring cooperation in port-related business while tapping the potential of both ports in initiating cargo traffic between the Port of Osaka and the Port of Subic Bay.

“The Philippines is among the world’s fastest-growing economies with an average annual growth rate of six to seven percent per year. After diving into a slump in the growth of its Gross Domestic Product in 2022 due to Covid, we can now hope, dream, and expect to marvel at a new dawn, and proudly become an indispensable and crucial part in the financial and industrial development of international trade,” Aliño said during the Osaka Ports & Harbors Bureau Mission to the Philippines.

Aliño added that the two ports are now pursuing to develop a Manila-Subic-Osaka route with major shipping lines to increase trade and cargo volume between the Philippines and Japan, one of the country’s top trading partners.

Osaka Ports and Harbors Bureau Director General Maruyama Junya cited that the visit to Subic Bay Freeport is an opportunity to share information on port development, port management, and logistics, and to promote mutual exchanges.

“Osaka Port has developed as an international trade port with industrial and financial development in the Kansai area. We are working actively on further development through improving port facilities and carrying out port sales,” Junya said.

“In 2023, we have decided to focus on the Philippines, one of the Southeast Asian countries that has been developing remarkably against a backdrop of high economic growth in recent years, and organized a port sales team with Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation and other transport companies,” he added.

Junya stated that during the Philippine Investment Forum 2023 last November, a lecture and interview with Business and Investment Department for Manufacturing and Maritime manager Karen Magno triggered their great interest in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Aliño, Senior Deputy Administrator (SDA) Ronnie Yambao, SDA Renato Lee III, Maritime Business Manager Karen Magno, and Seaport Department Officer-in-Charge Michael Lazaro provided an extensive briefing for the visitors on Thursday.

“In 2023, our cargo volume has reached 6.4 million metric tons with lumber, tires and motor vehicles as the top commodities handled at the Port of Subic Bay, both for import and export,” Yambao said.

“By expanding our network and developing this new shipping route, we are also providing more economic opportunities that will increase our trade and cargo volume between our ports,” he added.

The port administrators and related parties from Osaka include Osaka Ports and Harbors Bureau Director Takahashi Hiroshi, Promotion Department Section Chief Shiba Toshihiro, Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation President Kido Takafumi, Osaka Area Chief Facility Section Tsuji Genta, and Osaka Port Corporation Assistant Manager Yamada Akiko.

Also part of the delegation are port and harbor transportation business operators -- Sumitomo Warehouse Co. Marine Osaka Branch Manager Machida Ryota; Tatsumi Shokai Co., Ltd. General Manager Teramoto Teruya, Chief Asai Kei; Nissin Corporation Hanshin Marine Department Deputy General Manager Imoto Masaya, and Deputy General Manager Mori Makata; Konoike Transport Co., Ltd. General Manager Kanda Shigeru; Sankyu Inc. Osaka Branch General Manager Tamura Kei; Shosen Koun Co., Ltd. Group Leader Okumura Kazunari; Nippon Express Co., Ltd. Osaka International Transport Branch Nanko International Office General Manager Hiraoka Motonobu; and Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation Osaka Branch Deputy General Manager Shinichiro Nakajima.

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