In a keynote speech to the Conference on Intermodal and Global Supply Chain & Workshop in Manila Philippines, Dr. Patrick Sherry, Executive Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation (NCIT) at the University of Denver, emphasized the need for the development of an interconnected transportation system for this APEC nation of 7,107 islands. The workshop was sponsored by the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation and NCIT.

In what was the first of three conferences partially organized by NCIT throughout Asian Pacific countries, the conference was designed to promote collaboration between public and private sector agencies and companies by emphasizing the unique benefits of intermodal transportation in the supply chain. Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Attorney Juan C. Santa Anna welcomed the participants and noted that: ‘Since the Philippines is composed largely of islands, the intermodal interconnectivity of the water and land modes of transport of people, goods and services is imperative to create continued economic development to the area.’

Sherry told the participants that ‘intermodal transportation, by emphasizing the interconnectivity and seamless integration of transportation modes, as opposed to the unbridled expansion of any one mode in this largely maritime nation, holds great promise for the Philippines to increase transportation efficiency and reduce negative environmental impacts.’

While presenters from UPS, Expeditors, and the Philippine Ports Authority expressed concerns about developing human capacity in the region and stressed the importance of leveraging and developing the key intermodal transportation infrastructure, Sherry noted that: ‘Human capacity and skills are essential to developing a global supply chain that involves all of the economies of the APEC and Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries. Today’s global supply chain also depends on how well different parties manage the relationships between customers, shippers, regulators and carriers.

‘The Philippines’ commitment to intermodal transportation through the development of a ‘Strong Nautical Highway’ is a visionary concept that promotes greater efficiency and sustainability of environmentally friendly modes of transport, and is a model that should be emulated by all APEC economies,’ summarized Sherry.