Big shipping firm eyes PH expansion | Inquirer Business

Big shipping firm eyes PH expansion

/ 05:19 AM October 09, 2017

Global shipping giant APL is urging the Philippine government to improve and modernize port infrastructure, which would allow the country to increase trade links with the world during a period when Asia is expanding its influence as an international trading hub.

Further development here would help the company grow faster in the Philippines and trigger fresh investments and even potential domestic acquisitions through its parent firm, CMA CGM of France, according to APL CEO Nicolas Sartini.

“It is part of the strategy of CMA CGM to grow by organic [means] but also by acquisitions,” Sartini told reporters on Friday. “We see ourselves as a consolidator.”


Sartini held a media briefing in Manila as APL celebrated its 100th year in the Philippines. It opened its first office here in 1917, providing a direct service dubbed the Sunshine Belt that linked Manila and San Francisco in the United States.


Sartini said the company was targeting to grow its domestic volume, currently at 200,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually, by at least 10 percent every year.

“We want to grow the market and grow a little faster than the market,” Sartini said. “I think 10- to 15-percent growth every year would be a good target.”

The pace of expansion would increase if more investments are made that would allow ports here to handle larger vessels, Sartini said.

He said Manila currently could not receive direct shipments from large markets like the United States and Europe. These are instead done via transshipment services from countries like China and Singapore.

“If the country wants to continue to grow, be part of the global trade network, its ports should be able to handle the largest vessels,” Sartini said, citing the example of Jakarta, Indonesia, where APL had opened such direct services.

Sartini said the company was now looking to entice manufacturers and food producers to export more and take advantage of APL’s international network and overall buoyant trade within Asia, which accounted for a sixth of global container shipping volume.

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