SHIPPING company Trans-Asia Shipping Lines has unveiled MV Trans-Asia 21, its brand new cargo and passenger vessel serving the Cebu-Cagayan de Oro route.
Sheila Fay Sy, general manager of Trans-Asia, said the movement of goods and cargo in the gateway between the Visayas and Mindanao is crucial.
“There is so much business between Cebu and Cagayan. This big vessel can easily support that need. This route has always been the major one for Trans-Asia ever since and this is a tribute to the loyal Cebuanos and Cagayanons patrons,” she said.
MV Trans-Asia 21 is believed to be the country’s biggest brand new vessel built in Japan and the third brand new ship for Trans-Asia.
Chelsea Logistics president and chief executive officer Chryss Alfonsus Damuy said the situation remains challenging for the shipping industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Damuy said they are looking for signs of recovery in the next few months.
“Business would be better considering that the vaccination program has been progressing. Our purpose is to position the company to be ready and to be there in serving the riding public and cargo customers with the best ship available during the recovery,” he said.
Every area of MV Trans-Asia 21 is built with the company’s slogan, “At Home Ka Sa Byahe,” in mind. It can carry about 1,051 passengers.
The vessel can also fit 35 buses and 11 10-wheeler trucks.
Damuy said the company is hoping the government will achieve its target herd immunity by the end of November for shipping activities to fully resume and recover.
“By the first quarter next year, when the country’s herd immunity is achieved, then it should be one of the indicators that business or the economy will be better towards the latter part of this year, progressing to 2022,” he said.
Realistically, Damuy said, 2022 may just be the start of recovery. To return to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, he said they’re looking at two to three years.