Cokaliong opens new direct route

COKALIONG Shipping Lines Inc. (CSLI) will begin trips to Nasipit, Agusan del Norte on board its latest acquisition, the mv Filipinas Butuan.

Its maiden voyage will be on March 16.

Refurbished from Japan, the mv Filipinas Butuan has four main engines and three auxiliary engines.

It can carry 850 passengers, with a gross tonnage of 3,086 and a cruising speed of 15 knots.

Its blessing and inauguration was held yesterday at Pier 1.

Chase Cokaliong, human resources manager and special assistant to the founder, CEO and COO Chester Cokaliong, said they spent P200 million to acquire the vessel from Nagasaki, Japan in March last year.

Potential market

His sister Chesna, who is also a special assistant to the founder CEO and COO, said they observed there was no direct route from Cebu to Nasipit.

The shipping lines that do sail to Nasipit dock in Surigao and Cagayan de Oro before proceeding to Nasipit.

Chase and Chesna are Chester’s children.

The Cokaliongs said they see the new route as an advantage, citing Nasipit’s proximity to other provinces.

Mv Filipinas Butuan will sail from Cebu to Nasipit to Cebu on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, it will sail from Cebu, stop in Jagna, Bohol before proceeding to Nasipit then back to Cebu.

With these new routes, the company now serves 13 ports of call, including Calbayog Manguino-o, Dapitan, Dumaguete, Iligan, Iloilo, Maasin, Ozamis, Palompon, Surigao and Tagbilaran.

Chase said that by sailing to Nasipit, they are serving a big market, many of whom find it better to set sail directly than drop by other ports.

In an interview last May, Chester revealed he was intent on acquiring the vessel because of its three auxiliary engines, which he considers a unique feature.

He pointed out that most ships only have two auxiliary engines.

Mv Filipinas Butuan is similar to CSLI’s mv Filipinas Iligan, albeit four years younger.

Chase said an additional auxiliary engine serves as backup for the backup engine, which is useful in the event of an engine breakdown.