APL starting Philippines service for MindanaoÆs ôfood basketö
APL said today it is starting a twice-weekly Mindanao Express (MDX) container service 'to cater for the growing demand for Philippines produce,' such as fruit, tuna and rubber.
The MDX will use three vessels of 700-TEU to 850-TEU capacities, and will call at the ports of Bugo and Davao, Cagayan and General Santos, before connecting via Singapore and Taiwan to destinations in Asia, Europe and North America.
The Singapore-based carrier said the U.S. government's decision to include selected products from the Philippines in the U.S. Generalized System of Preference — including bananas — has boosted Mindanao exports. Mindanao accounts for more than 95 percent of the country's banana export requirements and the total value is expected to reach $4.5 billion in the six years of 2004 to 2009.
'Our recent investment in reefer containers and landside infrastructure is complemented by the MDX, which is an important part of our strategy to be the leader in cold chain transportation in the Philippines,' said David Chan, APL's vice president, global reefer.
'This is an increasingly important market driven by the 'food basket' of Mindanao, with strong demand coming from new markets such as Japan and the Middle East.'
APL has served the Philippines since 1917 and today has nine offices and more than 100 staff in the archipelago.