APL announced the launch of a new twice-weekly service to cater for the growing global demand for Philippines produce.
The Mindanao Express (MDX) will provide a 700-TEU weekly capacity increase for cargo moving from the region of Mindanao and other key Philippines locations before connecting with APL’s global service network.
Three dedicated vessels of between 700 and 850 TEU capacity will make twice-weekly calls to the ports of Bugo and Davao, also calling at Cagayan and General Santos, before connecting via Singapore and Taiwan to destinations in Asia, Europe and North America.
Demand for goods from the Mindanao region such as fruit, tuna and rubber is strong, with fruit production in particular a key driver of export growth. The US Government’s recent decision to include selected products from the Philippines in the US Generalised System of Preference – including bananas – has boosted Mindanao exports. Mindanao currently accounts for more than 95% of the country’s banana export requirements. The total value of Philippines banana exports are expected to reach US$4.5 billion in the six years between 2004 and 2009.
The first phase of APL’s Mindanao expansion began last year with the opening of new landside infrastructure, including a state-of-the-art Reefer Centre in Davao, which has a total of 102 reefer points.