“If ICTSI is now among those recognized as among the world’s biggest in its specific line of work, it is because it has adapted to the vagaries of the market and kept its ears close to the ground with innovative ideas”
What do these places in the four corners of the world – South Sulawesi in Indonesia; Tanjun Priok in Jakarta; Lae in Papua New Guinea; Yantai in China; Cortes in Honduras; Buenaventura in Colombia; Colima in Mexico; Guayas in Ecuador; Pernambuco in Brazil; Gdnyia in Poland; Umm Qasr in Iraq; Rijeka in Croatia; Batumi in Georgia; Toamasina in Madagascar; and Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – share in common?
And what do these huge companies with global reach – China Cosco Shipping; PSA International; APM Terminals; Hutchison Ports; DP World; Terminal Investment Limited; China Merchants Ports; CMA GGM; SSA Marine; Eurogate; HMM; Evergreen; MOL; NYK; K Line – also share in common?
The exotic-sounding places in five out of seven continents in the world are where one Filipino transnational company: International Container Terminal Services Inc., or ICTSI, now operates, while the similarly strange-sounding companies operating from various locations all over the globe are ICTSI’s counterparts in the specialized field of port operations that keep the global economy on an even keel.
ICTSI’s flagship, of course, is the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), where it first demonstrated its expertise in port operations in 1987 and has now brought this expertise in modern and efficient cargo handling to various overseas locations.
Drewry, the leading shipping and logistics research group, has taken notice of ICTSI’s growing reputation and now lists the Filipino company as among the top 10 port operators in the world and eighth in terms of volume of cargo handled.
What’s remarkable about ICTSI’s rise is that it took the company a little more than three decades of experience in port operations to emerge as a titan in the industry with global reach.
Only a few Filipino companies have been able to thrive in the international arena amid intense competition.
If ICTSI is now among those recognized as among the world’s biggest in its specific line of work, it is because it has adapted to the vagaries of the market and kept its ears close to the ground with innovative ideas.
So what’s ICTSI’s secret for success?
ICTSI’s head of global operations, Christian Gonzalez, who is also ICTSI Executive Vice President, offers a clue.
He explained that profits, though a clear target, are not the only goal of the company: “Beyond profitability, ICTSI recognizes the complex role ports play in economic development and the prosperity of communities within which our ports operate.”
In places where ICTSI has opted to put up stakes, such as Papua New Guinea, Honduras, DR Congo, Madagascar, you will realize that these are some of the poorest and underdeveloped countries in the world today.
But ICTSI’s management decided to set up shop in those places anyway so that it can help spur economic development there and allow them to prosper and raise their standards of living.
ICTSI’s phenomenal growth and outward expansion also demonstrates very clearly that port operations, a vital cog in the global economy, are best left in the hands of the private sector, rather than the government.
The conglomerate’s presence in remote areas in other countries seeks to boost trade and economic growth there and contribute to higher GNP that can lead to poverty reduction and a much better quality of life for the population.
ICTSI’s efforts to further hone its expertise in port operations and help other economies navigate the way to higher growth and economic progress goes hand-in-hand with its commitment to introduce modern technology that spells convenience, ideal working conditions and unparalleled efficiency in places where it has expanded its presence.
It’s right in its home ground, however, where ICTSI has shown its capability to get things done.
At the Manila International Container Port the conglomerate will spend an additional $290 million to build another berth that would expand total berthing length to 2,300 meters.
What this means is that with more ships that can be accommodated there, more cargo and bigger trade will work wonders for the battered Philippine economy in the years ahead.
The improvements done by the company at MICT are evident not only in the efficient handling of cargo from huge bulk carriers to container vans that bring all kinds of goods to end-users.
ICTSI’s enhanced digital operations also mean that goods can reach the hands of end-users faster.
What ICTSI has done since 1987 is to modernize port operations not only in the Philippines but in many overseas locations.
It is not only driving Philippine economic growth in an upward trajectory through modern and efficient port operations, but also helping the global economy move goods faster and with less hassle.
If you get the goods you ordered on time, isn’t that what delivery service – or service delivery – is all about?