A subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) in Syria has obtained government permission to handle transshipments.
ICTSI, the Philippine-based port operator, said in a statement on Friday that the Syrian government's nod has allowed its unit, Tartous International Container Terminal (TICT), to be the first and only terminal in the soutwest Asian country to handle transshipment, or the shipment of goods to an intermediate destination where they will be consolidated or transfered into another mode of transportation.
Syria is strategically positioned at the crossroads of three continents and and several cultures. It is a transit trade among many countries of the Middle East.
ICTSI said it expects hinterland cargo from Iraq and Jordan to benefit from the transshipment.
Romeo A. Salvador, chief executive officer of TICT CEO, said the terminal can easily handle the increase in activities that will be brought about by transshipment.
He said they have an an investment program to upgrade the facilities, equipment and manpower skills of the terminal. "All these are in place, and we have excess capacity to handle transshipment," he said.
ICTSI said that TICT currently moves containers at 18 moves per hour per crane using two mobile harbor cranes.
Productivity is projected to increase to 25 moves per hour per crane as two more quay cranes will be added by June 2009.
"The location of Tartous, some 260 kilometers away from Damascus, makes it the ideal gateway to Syrian trade," Salvador said.
ICTSI is a developer of international ports and terminals with a global port network spanning 11 countries in four continents. The 20-year old port operator is headquartered in the Philippines.