THE Subic Bay Freeport Zone is primed and ready to accommodate the increasing demands of both local and international trade by serving as the main logistics hub for business and industries based in northern and central Luzon.
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) highlighted the free-port zone’s metamorphosis into one of the nation’s strategic gateways for international and local cargo shipping and handling, capabilities seen to boost efficiencies of business enterprises in Northern and Central Luzon provinces.
The free port is the largest in the Philippines and is supported by the Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), a subsidiary of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. , which operates New Container Terminals (NCT) 1 and 2. These terminals are dedicated to providing the most cost-effective logistics solutions for foreign and local industries and the burgeoning tourism industry.
While SBMA continued to deliver seamless service as a partner in providing international cargo shipping services for multinational companies here in the region over the past years, it has recently shown eagerness in providing services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This interest is caused by the increasing opportunities for businesses and industries to capitalize on the nation’s continuing economic growth, along with various well-established locators and entrepreneurs who want to operate at a much faster, more efficient and highly productive way.
SBITC President Roberto Locsin said, “A lot of developments are happening now in Subic that provide immense business opportunities for SMEs, especially in the northern and central Luzon regions. Companies looking to broaden their networks and connect with markets and suppliers anywhere in the country, or the world for that matter.”
The opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses have the definite potential to usher in logistical improvements in the country and provide a seamless transport of goods from Subic to other parts of the country. This would then spur much higher growth and make business operations more sustainable, allowing productivity improvements and other innovative solutions.
Originally, free ports were only intended to provide space to store goods in transit, but this role soon grew to include the complete conduct of trade and business both inside and outside the country.
Located in Olongapo, Zambales, the Subic Freeport allows for the rapid and highly efficient transfer of a wide range of export and import products and other valuable items. It offers efficient and effective logistic services, storage rooms and business solutions ranging from big-bulk item and small cargo transportation to providing access to fully managed exclusive industrial parks.
Subic’s port operator, SBITC, has terminals with a combined area of 28 hectares and an annual capacity of 600,000 20-foot equivalent units or the total number of container vans ships can carry in the terminal. SBITC’s NTC-1 and 2 have a combined 11.14-hectare container yard with a very modern fleet of mobile container-handling units for moving and hauling duties.
Subic Freeport terminals can be accessed via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and soon, through a planned new connector and bypass road running through Bataan and into other parts of Luzon.
SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia said Subic’s facilities stand as the most advanced of their type in the country. Its available services give all locators in Asia and around world the perfect venue for exports and imports while offering dealers, institutions, SMEs, and other companies an efficient, stable, and secure location to store and trade products.
Garcia said, “Some of the best-known and biggest freeports like those located in Geneva, Singapore, and Luxembourg have effectively attracted investments from small, medium, and large industries through seamless logistics solutions. These are the same solutions available now in Subic and we expect more and more companies to come here to take advantage of what we can offer them.”
Subic Bay Freeport has become an emerging trade hub in the Philippines with its roster of resident companies that directly ship their goods to the many different parts of the country. It also allows the export of locally made products and the provision of logistics support to companies that export their products abroad. Truly, this is an ideal situation not only for many well-established companies but also for SMEs that need to reliably get their products to their clients while getting access to the best supplies from around the world.
“We’ve consistently provided cost-effective logistics for foreign and local industries in Central and Northern Luzon. That is necessary for the country’s competitiveness so that we can attract more foreign direct investments and propel the Philippines towards continued growth. More than that, we want to provide the necessary support to all companies in the Philippines that need access to the rest of the world,” Garcia said, adding SBMA has been consistent in its efforts to push the participation and presence of SMEs in regional and global markets as part of the Freeport’s commitment to the goals of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC of 2015 on building inclusive growth in the region.