• Japan’s NYK opens direct route to Subic Freeport

    Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, has opened a direct route from the Subic Bay Freeport to the major ports of Japan and Singapore, said the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

    NYK Line joined the growing number of shippers that call port at Subic, after the government declared it as an extension of the Port of Manila under Executive Order 172.

    “The opening of NYK’s direct routes to Subic is intended to provide an alternative solution to the port congestion in Manila,” explained SBMA chair Roberto V. Garcia, “NYK has stressed that it opened the routes as a contribution to help solve the current concerns in Manila and in response to the Philippine government’s request to decongest Manila ports.”

    Garcia said in a statement that SBMA finalized an agreement for the new shipping route late last month with Capt. Chak Kwok Wai, chair and managing director of the NYK Group; Ian T. Maambong, NYK sales manager for export; Dan Florentino, chief operating officer of the Transnational Diversified Group; and Tony Ramos, administrative officer of the Subic Bay International Terminal Corp.

    Under the agreement, NYK will open direct routes from Japan to Subic and from Subic to Singapore. NYK will also provide Subic discharge and load options for urgent cargoes, which can help minimize its vessels’ overall port stay in Manila.

    According to Garcia, NYK will start an ad hoc call at the Port of Subic using its MV Jakarta Tower, which has a capacity of 2,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). It is scheduled to make its first Subic call on Nov. 22.

    Daniel Ventanilla, general manager of NYK Fil-Japan Shipping Corp., was quoted in the SBMA statement as saying that the arrival of Jakarta Tower would be the “first service in the Philippines to make a direct call from Japan to Subic, in addition to the regular Taiwan-Subic call.”

    “It will also be the first service to call from Subic to Singapore, a major transshipment port providing numerous connections to East Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, Australia and New Zealand ports,” Ventanilla added.

    Last month, China-based SITC Container Lines Philippines, Inc. opened a direct route from Xiamen, China to Subic when its container ship MV Sicilia made its maiden voyage to Subic and unloaded 22 containers at the New Container Terminal (NCT) 2.