The Bureau of Customs-Legazpi hosted a forum on containerized shipments with Regional Container Lines (RCL) on August 4, 2023 as it pushes the maiden voyage of containerized vessels in the Bicol Region.
A discussion was first made by Mr. Marlon Isah De Guzman, General Manager of Eagle Express, agent of RCL South Philippines, where he explained how RCL works, and how it connects ports with a farm-to-market set-up via sea. Since there are instances that main line operators are not able to provide services to small ports for various reasons such as accessibility, volume of cargo and port costs, common carrier feeders such as theirs are the ones connecting these small ports with hub ports.
He also highlighted the importance of having an international container line in an area and how Bicol region could take advantage of it. He said that the products of Bicol are being coursed through Manila, and with this, logistics cost are high. With a vessel call in Bicol, they can directly bring the exports to a global hub port that is connected to 600 ports in over 120 countries, Singapore, in this case, and no longer in Manila. This gives users reliable, value-added and cost-efficient maritime services and facilities. This also applies to the imports.
“It is not the only solution or only way for development and progress, but it is one of the steps needed for an area to really be in line with global climate today, in terms of economy and progress,” Mr. De Guzman said. He also added that the RCL is potentially looking for a port at the Bicol Region to have a vessel calling for their expansion of coverage of the Philippine market.
Exporters, and government agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority took part in the forum.
Pursuant to the 5 Point Priority Program of Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, the commencement of the containerized vessels in the region will help not only the importers and exporters of Bicol, but will enable the Port to generate higher revenue collection.#