MCT carrier service links PH to Asia, Middle East

Published January 7, 2021, 10:49 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

RCL’s M/V PIRA BHUM during its maiden call at MCT on December 19, 2020.

Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) just launched a Regional Container Line (RCL) South Philippines 6 (RSP6) service linking Visayas and Mindanao to Asia and the Middle East via Singapore in a “product super highway.”

Launched locally via RCL’s Southern Philippine agent Eagle Express Lines, the fixed-day weekly service made its first port call to MCT on December 19, 2020 with the 628-TEU MV Pira Bhum.

The service, operated by two vessels, covers the Singapore – Cebu – Cagayan – Singapore route.

The vessels turn in Singapore, which serves as a transhipment hub and provides connections from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga to other Southeast Asian markets, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, as well as markets further north such as China and South Korea.

The regular service calls is a product superhighway that will aid farmers, manufacturers, and other producers in the Philippines, according to Roberto Locsin, MCT general manager.

The service enables producers to deliver time-sensitive commodities fast and in-bulk without the huge cost.

“Now more than ever, local businesses need help to bounce back, and the new service line will undoubtedly give them the boost they need,” he elaborated.

“The new service strengthens the position of Cagayan de Oro City and the rest of Misamis Oriental as a major agro-industrial exporter,” according to Jose Gabriel la Viña, PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate Administrator and CEO.

“The availability of a regular and predictable service to a major international hub also presents opportunities for entrepreneurs and industries to move up the value chain,” he elaborated.

“This could only mean higher incomes, more jobs, and a more comfortable life for our people.”

“Indeed, the new RCL service is an opportunity for the country,” said Angelito Colona, Eagle Express Group chairman and chief executive officer.

It’s “a game-changer” that will set the benchmark for the industry, said Eagle Express Lines general manager Marlon Isah de Guzman.

Headquartered in Thailand, RCL owns and operates 46 container vessels covering more than 66 destinations in Asia, India, India subcontinent, and the Middle East.

The company has been operating in the Philippines for 32 years.

MCT, a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), operates the terminal at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The company handles international and domestic cargo and offers container handling, yard management, reefer monitoring, and water bunkering among other port services. The port terminal serves as a transshipment hub connecting Northern Mindanao to the Visayas and other parts of the country.

Last year, MCT expanded its port equipment fleet, extended the berth length through the installation of an inland bollard and dolphin moor, and opened a 4.5-hectare empty container depot (ECD) inside the terminal.

With these investments and the presence of RCL, MCT projects a seven percent growth in 2021 – a significant target considering the global economy is still recovering from the pandemic.

MCT ensures that the business community in CDO has access to the rest of the Philippines, Asia, and the Middle East.