Philippines' SBITC Offers Containerization of Grain

Credit: SBITC
Credit: SBITC

By The Maritime Executive 08-08-2019 06:44:49

Philippines-based port operator Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation (SBITC) has announced that it can now handle containerized grain shipments. 

SBITC, a member of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), will begin importing shipments of grain such as rice, wheat, corn, and soybean meal in a first for the Philippines. Benefits include less handling and the ability to cater for smaller orders, as containers only carry around 24 tonnes of grain. 

Huge imports of wheat and other grain in 2018 helped the Philippines combat inflation, as rice and corn supplies were cut due to typhoons. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts this trend will continue for the rest of 2019 and that over 65,900 metric tonnes of grains will be imported into the country - an amount that has more than doubled in the last decade.

Containerization has cut down grain shipping costs in Asia, says SBITC. Round-trip container shipping as a practice allows Asian countries to export consumer goods west, with the containers bringing back grain to Asia upon their return. 

One of the country’s most technologically-advanced container terminals, Subic Bay International Terminal has an annual capacity of 600,000 TEUs. In March, SBITC opened a new container depot as part of its efforts to improve the circulation of empty containers.