With the Covid-19 pandemic upending the global economy and severely impacting international trade, the role of ports as vital economic lifelines has never been more pronounced. Driven by passion to serve its stakeholders, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI)—with its ports operating 24/7 across 20 countries and six continents—has proven to be a steadfast partner of the Philippines in facing current challenges.
To navigate its way out of the pandemic, the Philippines needs to speed up the vaccination program across the country to revive the economy. No stranger to overcoming headwinds, the Manila-headquartered global ports giant led by billionaire Enrique K. Razon Jr. is supporting both government and private sector efforts in vaccine procurement and distribution.
At the height of the pandemic last year, ICTSI joined the private sector initiative to procure three million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and donated 150,000 doses to the Philippine government. The company also partnered with the government in procuring more than 20 million doses of the first batch of Moderna vaccine to arrive in the country, funding and facilitating the international logistics for the order.
ICTSI also spearheaded the construction of the mega vaccination center at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino park near the Manila international airport, facilitating the efficient distribution and administration of the vaccines to residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
With the country’s continued recovery threatened by the lingering pandemic, ICTSI donated an additional 68,300 doses of AstraZeneca to 12 local government units in August. The company is cautiously optimistic that the Philippines’ economic recovery can be sustained now that the vaccination program has made significant headway in the country.
Despite prevailing headwinds brought on by the pandemic, ICTSI posted a resilient performance in the nine months ended September 30, with net profit climbing 73% to US$316.4 million compared to the previous year as global trade recovered across Asia, the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Revenue from port operations increased 24% to US$1.4 billion, while EBITDA improved 29% to US$829.4 million.
“This is extremely encouraging,” Razon said. “The company’s robust financial position provides a foundation to fund capital expenditures entirely through our strong cash flows and continue to grow ICTSI sustainably for the long term benefit of all our stakeholders.”
ICTSI saw robust organic growth across most of its terminals around the world, supported by prudent actions taken by the company at the onset of the pandemic, as well as considerable improvement in trade activities and favorable business conditions across the diverse markets in which it operates.
“We remain mindful that the pandemic continues to create challenges throughout our industry,” Razon said. “We have good momentum to deliver further disciplined growth and we look to the future with confidence.”
Going Green On A Blue Ocean
Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, ICTSI is tirelessly implementing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The company is moving forward with programs to advance sustainability efforts and push for a greener future.
The company is supporting conservation and eco-conscious advocacies, including the preservation of Palawan—considered as the Philippines’ last frontier—and the cleanup of Pasig River, which connects several municipalities across the Philippine capital. ICTSI’s Manila flagship terminal is also located at the mouth of the river.
ICTSI is also implementing key operational changes to boost energy and fuel efficiency at its ports, while reducing waste, pollution, and carbon emissions. Committed to building a “better normal,” the company recognizes the crucial role technology plays in advancing a more environment-friendly supply chain.
In the past few years, ICTSI has been upgrading its fleet of vehicles to be more fuel-efficient, cutting by half its carbon emissions. The company has also rolled out green initiatives such as eco-friendly wash bays, wastewater recycling facilities, solar-powered warehouses, noise pollution reduction projects, and energy efficient lighting systems at its container terminals.
There is a concerted effort to ensure a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, beyond just going green. Being in the pole position to further this goal, ICTSI sees the future of ports and shipping evolving, leading to a more sustainable and inclusive maritime supply chain. ICTSI has shown it can manage the shift by handling the world’s first carbon-neutral shipment at the Contecon Guayaquil terminal in Ecuador, the first carbon-neutral port in South America.
With its solid performance in port development, strong balance sheet, and far-reaching vision, ICTSI is ready for a more connected, resilient, and sustainable new world coming up on the horizon.