By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
DP World, the leading global port operator owned by the Dubai government, has expressed interest to invest in green ecozone logistics hubs and an eco-industrial park in the Philippines.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Deputy Director General Theo Panga said this was raised by DP World during a business delegation led by PEZA Director General Charito Plaza on their initiative to brief top DP World management and Jebel Ali Freeport Zone (JAFZ) locators about PEZA and the investment opportunities in Philippine ecozones.
The other highlight of the visit was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between PEZA and DP World through its local arm ATI Philippines, a certified PEZA investment promotions partner to assist PEZA with its investment promotions in Dubai/Middle East.
With DP’s planned green ecozone logistics hub investment in the Philippines, Panga said PEZA will formulate guidelines for the establishment of ecozone logistics hubs/parks – following the same models and success stories of Singapore and Dubai. DP World has highlighted the integration of parks, logistics and economic zones will lead the future of world trade.
As the dynamics of global trade have changed, global manufacturing operations have sought out focused zones of developed infrastructure and with ready access to international shipping.
This development is modeled by the Dubai port, which is integrated into the JAFZ where the entire 5,600 hectare-reclaimed area is green and sustainable with its embedded 30-MW solar generation facility, district cooling and waste treatment system, hi-tech security monitoring and emergency dispatch, and extensive greeneries (based on saline agriculture technology). JAFZ’s green logistics hub is also characterized by integrated one-stop shop, multi-modal transport, use of kinetec energy to power up cranes, no delays in ship berthing, among others.
Its full automation allows for remote operation and control of quay cranes, vessel pilotage and other building management system, as well as application of various simulation and training facilities.
Dubai port is the 5th busiest port in the world with an annual throughput of 16m TEUs (bigger than the combined throughput of US East Coat seaports); while JAFZ is one of the largest freeport zones with 7,500 locators. Dubai is grand in many ways being the GCC's major distribution/financial center and given its status as having the world's tallest building in Burj Khalifa, the largest airport in Al Maktoum, and one of biggest cruise terminals in Port Mina Rashid.
With the high cost of seafreight in the Philippines, estimated about 5 times higher than its ASEAN counterparts, PEZA within its sphere of influence has been trying to find ways to reduce cost of cargo transport while enhancing logistics efficiency in the ecozones.
Panga, however, noted that PEZA is way ahead when it automated in 2008 our import and export documentation system.
“We put up the first ecozone off-dock container yard (CY) in CEZ in response to the Manila port congestion in 2015,” said Panga.
PEZA will roll out soon its expanded automation system for inter-zone movement of cargoes. Through partnership with leading private port/logistics operators, PEZA will embark on innovative logistics solutions to provide for more ecozone off-dock CYs, Inland Container Depots (ICD), Container Freight Stations (CFS) and electronic community platforms that will bring the cargoes closer to the ecozones in a more predictable and cost effective manner.
The PEZA delegation to Dubai is composed of SEIPI President Dan Lachica, Toyota Tsusho President Katsuhiko Nakano and General Manager Venus Lascuña, and CEZ locator firm Pres. Patricia Zhao.