International Container Terminal Services Inc. said Tuesday Taiwan’s largest shipping company will launch a new direct service at key ports of Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Evergreen Marine Corp. will launch its Korea-Taiwan-Philippines or KTP service in Subic port, adding the ICTSI-operated New Container Terminals 1 and 2 to its port rotation.
ICTSI said the inclusion of Subic in the rotation was expected to boost the growing markets in Northern and Central Luzon which stand to benefit from the direct trade link to Korea and Taiwan. Aside from exports and imports, the service also offers transshipment for overseas cargo.
“We congratulate Evergreen for the launch of the new service. We also thank Evergreen for recognizing Subic as a key gateway in the Philippines,” said Roberto Locsin, general manager of ICTSI subsidiary Subic Bay International Terminal Corp.
“Our inclusion in the KTP service is a clear indication that the markets of central and northern Luzon are growing, and will benefit from another large global carrier participating in this growth,” he said.
The KTP weekly service follows the following port rotation: Incheon and Kwangyang, South Korea; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Batangas, Manila, and Subic, Philippines; and back to Kaohsiung.
The first Evergreen vessel under the KTP service is scheduled to make its maiden call to Subic on April 19.
The Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau expressed interest to partner with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in December 2016 to increase container transshipment traffic between the ports of Taiwan and Subic.
TMPB raised the possibility of partnership during a recent port visit to Subic, which stemmed from SBMA’s participation in the 22nd Philippines-Taiwan Joint Economic Conference in October in Taipei.
The Philippines is capitalizing on Taiwan’s “Southbound Policy” which aims to strengthen trade and investment relationship between Taiwan and countries south of the latter’s territory.
This “paradigm shift” opens the doors for the Philippines to capture businesses in Taiwan’s high-value manufacturing, innovation, logistics and transshipment, renewable energy, e-commerce, and financing sectors.
SBMA asked TMPB to encourage industries in Taichung to utilize Subic as the regional gateway.
Taiwan is the Philippines’ sixth biggest trading partner, facilitating around $7.85 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2015. Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone hosts 52 Taiwanese companies with $500 million worth of investments and over 12,000 jobs generated.
Meanwhile, South Korea is the Philippines’ fifth largest trading partner in 2015. In 2014, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $13.4 billion, a number that is expected to reach $20 billion over the next five years.