News — August 22, 2018

Digitizing PH ports key to untapped economic potential – 1-Stop TABS

The demand for goods and resources are surging worldwide. This, along with the globalization of manufacturing and delivery supply chains and the enlargement of vessel sizes present tremendous opportunities for the growth of the shipping sector.

In the Philippines, recent statistics reflect a 5.1 percent increase in the trade of goods. In addition to this, the Philippine Ports Authority reported that container traffic soared to up to 53 percent nearing the final quarter of 2017. Noteworthy in this regard is the government’s push to stimulate competition in the shipping industry.

Since dynamic commerce requires highly efficient ports, focusing on elevating port connectivity in the country deserves merit. The economic impact of this includes supply increase, foreign exchange boost, and commodities’ price reduction. It also heightens demand for ancillary services and employment, which are essential to national development. Moreover, it provides a significant opportunity for a country to pursue inclusive growth for its regional economies.

Digitization: The case of MICT and ATI

As the Philippines seeks to grow its shipping sector, there is a need to increase port productivity through digitization. Since various stakeholders are involved in port operations, efficiency can only be achieved by streamlining processes and facilitating the sharing of vessel- and cargo-related information within the port community.

In 2014, Metro Manila faced the challenge of port congestion, which reportedly translated to economic losses of PhP 2.5 billion a day, according to the House Committee on Transportation and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

In response to this, the metro’s major ports Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) decided to digitize and employ the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) in 2015, a collaborative platform provided by Australian port solutions provider 1-Stop Connections Pty Ltd. for the local government and supply-chain stakeholders. The digital solution enables real-time sharing of live container data and allows terminal operators to match terminal resources with landside demand.

“Prior to TABS, the trucks would arrive randomly at the port, hence the long queues we’ve had for many many years. What TABS did was regulate that over a 24-hour period. That has proved successful since we implemented it,” explained Ian Baking, AVP for Business Development, ATI.

After using TABS, MICT and ATI reached 60,000 truck transactions per month from what was previously 40,000. Efficiency increased by 25% during peak hours, unclogging ports and the roads leading to them. In fact, the truck ban imposed for traffic reduction in the city was lifted due to the effectivity of the system.

“The national government and the port authority want to operate ports 24/7 to the highest level of capacity utilization achievable. With a system like TABS which allows us to modify behavior, plan the arrivals and departures of trucks better, we’re now seeing an alignment between what the local government and road departments want and port authorities and national government want,” attested Christian Gonzalez, Senior Vice President and Regional Head of Asia Pacific and MICT, International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

There is great potential for the rest of the Philippines’ major ports, given increase in productivity.

For more information, visit


About 1-Stop

1-Stop Connections Pty Ltd is a globally recognized leader in innovating and delivering integrated solutions to increase productivity for the Port Community. We are committed to working collaboratively with all members of the community to deliver efficiency gains for everyone. With over 13 years experience, our port solutions and appointment systems are used across Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit

1-Stop in the Philippines

The Terminal Appointment Booking System, or TABS, is an electronic platform for booking containers in the major international ports of Manila.

TABS is a collaborative solution from the Manila government and supply-chain stakeholders, in partnership with Australia’s 1-Stop Connections Pty Ltd. (1-Stop), in response to the truck ban and road policies that were introduced by the local government in 2014 to combat the congestion in Manila. With TABS in place at both the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) terminals, a more organized in- and out-flow of containerized cargoes from both terminals is expected for a more efficient and productive Philippine supply-chain. For more information, visit