Mindanao eyed as transshipment hub

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

MINDANAO has big potential to become a major transshipment hub due to the island's strategic location, an investment official said.

Bureau of Investment (BOI) Davao Extension Office chief Gil M. Dureza, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said several trading ships going to Singapore, a major transshipment hub in Asia, that are passing through Mindanao. 

For instance, he said when they visited Tawi-tawi, they noticed that a lot of big ships were passing by the area.


"When we timed it, we found out that there were some 20 big ships that passed by the area on their way to Singgapore," Dureza said. 

"We are looking at this opportunity if Mindanao can be developed to become a major transshipment hub," he added.

Transhipment is defined as the shipment of goods or containers to one destination wherein it will be unloaded and transferred to a much bigger ship then shipped to another destination. 

Dureza said if Mindanao becomes a transshipment hub, it will generate foreign currency which in turn will bolster the economy of the island and the country.

He said Mindanao's location makes it a viable hub for logistics companies, who are into transhipment, to invest in. For example, shipping from China to Indonesia via Singapore takes 23 days but if it is via Mindanao, shippers will be able to save 13 days.

Dureza said they are looking at potential areas in Mindanao that can be developed to become a transshipment hub. Based on their initial inventory, Davao City, Tagum City, Mati City, General Santos City, Lebak in Sultan Kudarat and some areas in Northern Mindanao are potential sites.

But he pointed out that there is still the need to modernize the sea ports in Mindanao for it to be able to cater to the demands of the transshipment industry.

"If we can modernize our seaports, we can snatch a big number of logistics companies to come here," Dureza said.

Dureza said they are now taliking with major logistics companies and operators in Singapore in investing in Mindanao. He said these companies and operators will also be bringing in their shipping clients. 

He said transhipment is one of the proposed investment areas that they and the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) are eyeing for Mindanao under the Invest Mindanao program.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 19, 2014.


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