The shipping industry is struggling to reach pre-epidemic cargo quantities

Freight and other vehicles are shown on the intercontinental roll-on, roll-off ferry at the port of Dalahikan in Lucena, Quizon, March 10, 2016. – REUTERS

By RJ L Balinbin, Senior Reporter

The energy crisis is making it worseffiFor the domestic shipping industry to reach pre-epidemic cargo volume this year, PhilipPine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) said.

“It’s still up and down. It is still below 2019 ৷ 2021 numbers did not meet 2019 numbers It’s very difficult, “said PLSA President Mark Matthew F. Parco The commercial world In a recent phone interview.

Data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) shows that domestic cargo throughput reached 96.86 million metric tons (MT) in 2021, down 7.2% from 104.43 million metric tons before the coronavirus epidemic crisis in 2019.

Last year’s internal cargo volume, however, was 3.5% higher than the 93.59 million MT recorded in 2020.

“We were [initially] Hopefully 2022 will get us there (pre-epidemic level), ”said Mr Parco.

“But with rising fuel prices and the Ukraine war overhang, this is going to be a problem because if fuel prices continue to rise, people will have less money to spend and we will still have to pay our energy bills.” So that’s the problem, “he added.

Since the beginning of the year, the local prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene have increased net at P16, P26 and P24.10 per liter, respectively. Oil companies are set to implement a price rollback on Tuesday.

As oil prices continue to rise, some shipping companies in the country have started raising their freight fees.

According to Mr. Parco, the average increase in freight rates is 25%. Domestic shipping operators are allowed to set their own shipping rates under Republic Act No. 9295.

On his behalf, he is the President and CEO of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.fficer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy says cargo “volume should be better this year.”

“The challenge now is the cost of running the business, not just the fuel. For passengers [business]It may still take some time, “he said in a phone call The commercial world.

In a statement last week, Chelsea Logistics said its freight business “continued to recover with year-over-year 30% growth of P2.727 billion in revenue – already surpassing P2.688 billion in 2019, ahead of Covid. 19 epidemics and StayThe first lockdown in March 2020.

“We are hoping for a further recovery this year when we need to monitor world oil prices carefully because they will definitely have a negative impact on our margins,” Mr Damui said.

In a phone interview, Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. President Sergio R. Ortiz-Lewis, Jr. says the volume will increase, “but certainly slower than we expected.”

According to data from PPA, the volume of export cargo reached 70.54 million MT last year, up 17.1% from 60.25 million MT in 2020 and 14.3% from 61.69 million MT in 2019.

However, Mr Ortiz-Lewis said delays, shipping costs, and ship space shortages were “safe” because of the epidemic-induced disruption and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

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