Manila: A growing number of foreign shipping companies looking to cut costs amid a global slowdown in trade are laying up their ships in Philippine ports, maritime officials said.
‘The trend became apparent this year, Maritime Industry Authority Administrator Elena Bautista said, adding Philippine ports were attractive because of their wide bays. Also the location of the country – in the centre of key shipping lanes – makes it easy for companies to redeploy ships when necessary. The vessels could be parked for three to six months, she said, noting that Subic Bay was already full of ships that had been laid up. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority confirmed that 22 vessels there were waiting out the recession. On Malalag Bay in Davao del Sur, Greek-flagged carrier ZIM Shipping Lines had laid up five of its ships, while an Israeli company planned to park 10 of its vessels on Pujada Bay, Bautista said. The two bays in Davao can accommodate as many as 100 ships for a daily rate of $90 to $120 per vessel. Philippine Ports Authority general manager Oscar Sevilla said one company was discussing its plan to lay up 10 vessels at the South Harbor in Manila Bay. Many classification societies have produced guides to laying up ships, all of which are available on their websites and are reccommended reading.