THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has awarded local logistics company Shiptek Solutions a PHP900 million (US$16.8 million) container monitoring contract at the country's ports, despite protests, reports Manila's Philippines Inquirer.
The company, which is 30 per cent owned by Union Bank of the Philippines, was awarded the procurement contract for the Trusted Operator Programme-Container Registry Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) and Empty Container Storage Shared Service Facility.
"Accordingly, you are hereby instructed to commence with the work, perform the services under the terms and conditions of the contract in accordance with the implementation for the said project, effective upon receipt of this Notice to Proceed," PPA general Jay Daniel Santiago told the logistics firm.
Several industry groups, including Philippine Exporters Confederation and Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, previously opposed this measure, saying it has the "potential to negatively impact port operations and disrupt the delicate balance of commerce at port."
Under the TOP-CRMS programme, Shiptek is tasked with tagging and tracking containers at the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Terminal, Manila South Harbour and three economic zone locations.
The project allows the shippers, transport services and consignees to "track, insure, and pay online for their transactions, resulting in large savings and efficiency in doing business," thus decongesting port traffic and improving supply chains.
Shiptek's services include digital documentation, online booking, fleet management, payment systems, tracking and tracing of shipments, container insurance and finance management.
In April, the logistics company expressed its intent to provide digital cargo solutions to the rest of southeast Asia to strengthen cross-border trade and shipping.
"We have seen remarkable and exponential growth in volume and revenues since our launch in 2018. This gives us the confidence that we will be able to expand in the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region and allow us to become the backbone of the regional shipping industry, providing the tech needed to make logistics more transparent, efficient, and affordable to all players," said Shiptek CEO Eugenio Ynion.