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

New service at Mindanao Container Terminal links Southern Philippines to Asia, Middle East

Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) welcomes the new year strong with the launch of Regional Container Line’s (RCL) South Philippines 6 (RSP6) service that connects the Philippines’ Visayas and Mindanao regions to Asia and the Middle East via Singapore.

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

The service is operated by two vessels and covers the Singapore – Cebu – Cagayan – Singapore route.  The vessels turn in Singapore, which serves as a transhipment hub and provides competitive connections from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga to other Southeast Asian markets, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, while additionally serving the markets further north such as China and South Korea.

Roberto Locsin, MCT general manager, says the regular service calls can be considered as a product superhighway that will aid farmers, manufacturers, and other producers in the Philippines.  They enable 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.”

Jose Gabriel la Viña, PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate Administrator and CEO, is optimistic about the growth potential of the new carrier service:

“For the City of Cagayan de Oro and the rest of Misamis Oriental, the new service strengthens our position as a major agro-industrial exporter.  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.  This could only mean higher incomes, more jobs, and a more comfortable life for our people.”

Angelito Colona, Eagle Express Group chairman and chief executive officer, sees the new RCL service as a bright opportunity for the country, while Eagle Express Lines general manager Marlon Isah de Guzman described it as “a game-changer” that will set the benchmark for the industry.       

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.

In 2020, 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 highly significant target considering the global economy is still recovering from the pandemic.

MCT will continue to work to ensure that the business community in CDO has access to the rest of the Philippines, Asia, and the Middle East.

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