In a bid to decongest road traffic and facilitate an efficient movement of goods, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has lined up building a barge terminal among its priorities.

The development of the Cavite Gateway Terminal (CGT), the first of its kind in the Philippines, is consistent with government initiatives to utilize nautical highways more in order to decongest the roads. In the case of barges, one trip is equivalent to an estimated one-kilometer long of truck traffic.

The CGT is being developed in partnership with International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), a private port management company. It will be located within a six-hectare property in Tanza, Cavite, an ideal site because of the province’s high economic density. The Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) alone houses over 400 actively operating companies, in addition to the multiple areas of planned development within the province.

The CGT will also have a level of integration with other major Luzon port facilities for more cost-effective and time-bound access to the Cavite market for both inbound and outbound cargo.

Phase 1 of the project is designed to support a total output of 115,000 TEUs per year, which is equal to approximately 140,000 fewer truck trips plying city roads annually. Harbor Star, the barge operator for the CGT, will deploy 150 TEU barges. TEU or twenty-foot equivalent units is used to measure container ship capacity.

Succeeding phases of CGT will support a substantial increase in capacity and will be built to account for projected annual volume increases in the Cavite market.

Apart from decongesting roads, barge service is also seen to benefit traders and exporters as they are cheaper than trucking rates. Using barges instead of trucks also lowers fuel consumption, effectively reducing the city’s carbon footprint.