Reefer Express Lines, a Manila-based containership operator, has commenced the inaugural voyage of a cargo shipping route covering Ho Chi Minh Port in Vietnam, North Sulawesi in Indonesia, and Mindanao island in the Southern Philippines, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has confirmed.
A 290TEU vessel has been deployed along the Davao City-General Santos City-Bitung (D/GB) shipping route, which was recently expanded to cover Ho Chi Minh Port.
The vessel left Vietnam on June 16 and is scheduled to make port calls in Bitung and Ternate in Indonesia on July 2 and 4, respectively, and Davao City on July 6. It will make a port call in General Santos City later in the same week.
This is only the second time that a vessel has sailed along the D/GB route formally established by the Philippine and Indonesian governments in April 2017.
Super Shuttle RORO 12 (pictured), a 500TEU Philippine-operated Con-Ro that was utilised on the initial D/GB voyage, had reportedly carried far below its maximum capacity, prompting officials in Manila and Jakarta to temporarily cease operations along the route pending a significant increase in cargo volumes.
Reefer Express Lines CEO Felix Ishizuka has said that the resumption of the shipping service will “help create more trading activities” between the three countries. Further, the MinDA hopes that the re-opening and the expansion of the route will also lead to an increase in tourism activities and establishment of direct air linkages.
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