First Filipino merchant ship to call in the US for 45 years departs Manila

A ship flying the flag of the Philippines departed Manila on Friday, heading south through the archipelago, before heading across the Pacific this week to Los Angeles, the latest new entrant onto the booming transpacific tradelane.

The Iris Paoay, a 15-year-old general cargo ship capable of carrying 1,100 teu, will become the first Filipino ship to call in the US since the 1970s.

The ship is owned by Iris Logistics, a subsidiary of Philippine logistics firm, Royal Cargo, which now controls a fleet of three general cargo vessels.

So many new entrants on the transpacific have shaken up market shares dramatically in recent months. The capacity market share of non-alliance services is now higher than both THE Alliance and 2M, and is now equal to roughly 30% of all transpacific deployed capacity, according to Sea-Intelligence data.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. This is incorrect

    Galleon Shipping / National Shipping Corp of the Philippines operated a Phil Flag liner service between RP/Asia and the US (Eastcoast & Westcoast) from the late 1970s up to early 1990s.

  2. This is not a cause for celebration. Lke almost all vessels in the Philippines’ ocean-going fleet, this ship is bareboat chartered from its foreign owners. Anyone who is familiar with the country’s bareboating programme knows that it’s all manning in disguise. The local bareboat charterers have no control over the bareboated units. They don’t even know where they are at any given time!

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