PH cargo volume down 6.5%

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    Philippine cargo volume went down by 6.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, but has seen a recovery in the third quarter amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that cargo throughput totaled 188 million metric tons (MT) in January to September, lower than the 201 million MT recorded in the same period last year.

    Cargo traffic posted a recovery in the third quarter, with a 14 percent increase to 81.3 million MT compared with 71.2 million MT in the same period last year, PPA said.

    PPA said container traffic declined by 16 percent to 4.92 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the first nine months of the year, from 5.84 million TEUs in the same period last year.

    Container traffic in the third quarter this year stood at 1.99 million TEUs, same as last year’s 1.9 million TEUs.

    Sea passenger volume also dropped 66 percent to 21.3 million during the nine-month period, from 62.8 million passengers tallied in the same period last year.

    PPA data showed that passenger volume in the third quarter rose 74 percent to 2.97 million versus 1.71 million in the second quarter this year, but it is still significantly lower than last year due to the travel restrictions to combat the spread of the COVID-19.

    Meanwhile, PPA has pioneered the use of Traze app in the ports last month. This will eventually be used across all modes of transportation to strengthen government efforts in containing the COVID-19 by immediately identifying individuals who had contact with coronavirus-positive patients.