Featured Port: The Manila North Harbor





The Manila North Harbor is located along the eastern shore of Manila Bay (22°17’46″N, 114°11’25″E). It is the life-line connecting the Visayas and Mindanao regions to Metro Manila, and the main island of Luzon itself. Accessible via the Radial Road R-10 from Navotas, and Delpan Bridge connecting the South Harbor Port area, and Roxas Boulevard in the City of Manila.

North Harbor is intended to serve the domestic Inter-island shipping. It form part of Manila Port’s backbone, which also comprises the South Harbor, The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), and the Port facilities located along the banks of Pasig River extending to Jones Bridge in Binondo Manila.

The operation and administration of the Manila North Harbor was transferred to the Philippine Ports Authority from the Bureau of Customs on December 23, 1975 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 857 signed by the then former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Also Vitas Area in Tondo, Manila was declared  part of the North Harbor Custom Zone by virtue of Executive Order 297 dated March 4, 1971.

On  November 26,1981, the whole of Vitas area bounded by Pier 18 on the north, Radial Road R-10 on the east, the Marine Slipway Area in the southland, the Vitas rock bulkhead on the west, was transferred and placed under the administration of the Philippine Ports Authority by virtue of EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 749 signed by the then President Marcos.

Port History

Construction of North Harbor begins on 1937 and during this time all domestic Inter-Island Ship/Boats of small tonnage anchors along the Pasig River banks. By 1941 Piers 2, 4, 6, and 8 have been completed, and just before the outbreak of hostilities in World War II, North Harbor has the following Port improvements:

Four Piers namely Pier 2, 4, 6, and 8, both of which had 80.43m wide x 220.25m long Pier flatform.

To render the docks safe for ships while at berth or at anchor, a 1,300m long x 3m wide breakwater have been constructed.

179.71 meters wide dock or Slip in between Piers.

On the other hand, the completion of three other piers namely Piers 10, 12, and 14 was interrupted by the war.



World War II

During the War,  this harbor installation was subjected to bombings and air-raid by Japanese Invasion Forces and later by US Liberation Forces. Although compared to the nearby South Harbor, the Piers along the North Harbor suffered less damage due to perhaps less penetration or concentration of bomb and other explosive ordinance directed to this area. North Harbor and the rest of Manila Port were not usable for shipping until April 1945 due to harbour obstructions and Port facility damages.

Immediately after the liberation of Manila, the US Corps of Engineers known as “MANED” under the consultation with the Philippine Port Commission undertook repairs to the existing Piers. Damaged portions of the piers were replaced with timber deck on timber piles. Some piers were lengthened by providing additional berthing spaces at the end. Obstruction to navigation along the channel leading to this piers where removed while dredging of the channel are being conducted by the elements of US Army and the Navy.

On September of 1947 the US Army then turned over the North Harbor Facilities to the Philippine Government. The Division of Ports and Harbors of the Bureau of Public Works took charge of the construction, repair, and maintenance of this pier.





The Port Management Office-North Harbor (PMO – NH) was created on 1st of July 1988, as one of the Port Management offices under the administrative and operational jurisdiction of the Port District Office of Manila (PDO – Manila). PDO – Manila, on the other hand, is one of the five (5) major port district offices under the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), a government–owned corporation created under Presidential Decree No. 505 dated July 11, 1974, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 857 and further amended by Executive Order Nos. 513, 546 and 159.

PMO – North Harbor is headed by a Port Manager and has full jurisdiction over the following:

     1.  Piers 2 (Negros Navigation) and Isla Puting Bato

     2.  Pier 4 (Gothong Southern, and North Harbor Tugs Corp.)

     3.  Pier 6 (MORETA Shipping Lines, Romblon Shipping Lines)

     4.  Pier 8 (Solid Shipping Lines)

     5.  Pier 10 (Lorenzo Shipping Lines and Gothong Lines)

     6.  Pier 12 Sulpicio Lines

    7.  Pier 14 (Oceanic Lines, Loadstar Shipping Lines)

     8.  Pier 16 (Escano Shipping Lines)

     9.  Pier 18 Vitas Port

     10.  Marine Slip Way (MSW)

The Harbour Centre Port Terminal (HCPT), located along the northern end of  North Harbor, identified then as the Smokey Mountain is a private commercial port that rivals the government owned ports particularly South Harbor, the Manila International Container Terminal, and the North Harbor as well. On November 13, 2003 PPA Board Resolution Nos. 1976 allows HCPT (formerly R-II Builders, Inc.) to operate only as foreign non-containerized cargoes and non-containerized vessels. In addition to that,  it also granted to operate as a commercial private port and accommodate all types of domestic vessels and cargoes. Prior to the entry of Harbour Centre Port Terminal (HCPT) in 1996, PPA was the only operator of the ports in Manila.

There are Two (2) significant events brought about major changes in the operations of PMO-NH in 2000. On 19th of June, 2000,  jurisdiction over the Terminal Ports of Lamao and Mariveles, Bataan was transferred from PMO – North Harbor to PMO – Bataan. Also on April 16, 2000, the Authority, precipitated by a threat of strike, issued PPA Memorandum Order No. 07-2000 creating the North Harbor Port Services (NHPS) that took over the operations of four private cargo handling operators, namely:

  1. United Dockhandlers, Inc, formerly servicing Piers 6, 12, 14 and 16;
  2. Pier 8 Arrastre and Stevedoring, formerly servicing Pier 8;
  3. Veterans Shipyard Corporation, formerly servicing Marine Slipway (MSW); and
  4. Interport Stevedoring and Arrastre Services, formerly servicing Isla Puting Bato (IPB).


Under the National Port Plan initialized during early years, North Harbor  developed into one with capability to handle large domestic vessels. Sufficient back-up areas also provides for the storage of containers and other cargoes. Passenger terminals along the pier 2 (Negros Navigation), pier 4 (WG & A), pier 12 (Sulpicio Lines) was constructed. Complete with amenities for the convinience of riding public, the  terminal shelter was available for embarkation/dis-embarkation of passengers.

In 1999, as a result of the increased cargo and vessel traffic, the agency generated gross revenues of P468.3 million or P20 million more than the 1998 revenues.

Base Port:                   NORTH HARBOR

Area 430,000 sqm
Draft 6.0 meters
Berths 15 berths


Port Operation in Manila


Port Terminal Operator Coverage

Cargo Handlers


Pier 2




Domestic cargoes/ passengers

– Containerized, break-bulk and RORO

Pier 4



Containerized, Break-bulk

Pier 6

United Dockhandlers, Inc. (UDI)


Pier 8

Pier 8 Arrastre and Stevedoring


Pier 10




Pier 12    Domestic cargoes/ passengers
Pier 14


Pier 16



Pier 18


 Vitas Arrastre

Marine Slipway   (MSW)




Isla Putting Bato Arrastre





North Harbor Statistic


Shipping Traffic Jan-Sept 2009*







North Harbor 3,073 3,073 0

Private Ports




Passenger Traffic Jan-Sept 2009*


                                Passenger Traffic




North Harbor




Private Ports




Cargo Traffic Jan-Sept 2009*

PMO – NH                                                                              Cargo Traffic
   Grand Total                          Domestic                Foreign
        Total    Inward   Outward      Total      Import  Export
North Harbor 9,631,979 9,631,979 2,490,727 5,788,606



Private Ports 2,844914 484,487 436,815 47,672 2,360,427 2,274,781 85,646

TEU (Jan-Sept 2009)*



  Grand Total



    Total Inward Outward Total Import Export
North Harbor 459,015 459,015 228,272 230,743 0 0


Private Ports




0 0 0


  • Source: PPA /Port Statistics (Un-Official Summary)


North Harbor Privatization Project

Philippine Ports Authority award the P14.5-billion, 25-year modernization project to the sole bidder Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI), a joint venture between  Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) and the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) , a unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. (part of the Salim Group of Indonesia) on the 19th of November 2009. Takeover will commence on February 15, 2010 or three months after the contract were signed between the parties involved.

The said project will modernize the Manila North Harbor through the operation and management of its various facilities/services by MNHPI as port operator, in a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) term arrangement with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). The project aims include among others:

  1. The development (Construction) of world class terminal facilities, including the provision of the state-of-the-art equipment, and guarantee the repair and maintenance of the said equipment and facilities without any cost to the government.
  2. To achieve the maximum level of port efficiency at the most reasonable and competitive price in the provision of port services to the port users and the general public.
  3. To allocate funds for the amortization of existing loans for North Harbor and attain/sustain reasonable return on the PPA investment in all facilities.



  1. http://www.customs.gov.ph/aboutBOCPortsSubports.jsp
  2. http://www.ip3.org/pub/publication014.htm
  3. Competition Policy and Regulation in Ports and Shipping by Gilberto M. Llanto, Enrico L.  Basilio and Leilanie Basilio
  4. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPHILIPPINES/Resources/Basilio.pdf 
  5. Philippine Ports Authority/Port Statistics 
  6. http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNews.htm?f=//2009/november/20/news7.isx&d=/2009/november/20
  7.  http://www.coa.gov.ph/2000_AAR/GOCCs/PPA/PPA-PMO-NH_es00.htm
  8. http://reklamo.ph/ppa/
  9. Port of Manila and other Philippine Ports, Yearbook 1949.


Further reading:


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14 Responses to “Featured Port: The Manila North Harbor”

  1. U produced several superb points in your post, “Featured Port: The Manila North
    Harbor Philippine Ship Spotters Society”.
    I am going to end up coming back to your site in the near future.
    Thank you ,Mason

    Like this

    • Dear Mason,

      Thank you for visiting Pinoy Shipspotters Blog (No longer Philippine Ship Spotters Society). Should you have any question to ask, feel free to leave a message here I will be glad to answer a soon as I read it.

      Best Regards,

      Like this

  2. hi ask po if dito din po kona cargo ang boxes papunta sa mga destination nila ?

    Like this

  3. transport | truck | cargo…

    [...]Featured Port: The Manila North Harbor « Philippine Ship Spotters Society[...]…

    Like this

  4. atienza shipping lines Says:

    Sir,mcgutib how can i contact you ? business proposal this is louchie my email ad is louchielouttieirma@yahoo.com.ph

    Like this

  5. hi….
    i want to know if we can have prenup at north harbor pier?what are the requirements required?

    Like this

  6. Red Pilota Says:

    hi do you know where Port Coquitlam Development Corporation North Harbor Road, Philippines is?
    thnx!!! :)

    Like this

  7. red pilota Says:

    hi…. do you know where the Port Coquitlam Development Corporation North Harbor Road is?

    Like this

  8. What pier will i ride going to Caticlan, Kalibo or Dumaguit because I am planning to go to Boracay on April 29(Friday) or 30(Saturday)?
    Kindly e-mail me at “sam_d_ham@yahoo.com”
    Thanks! And I am hoping for you immediate reply.

    Like this

  9. hi, we have a project about port (this is a new one, i think) and we need some information about the port traffic in manila, cargoes, companies, etc.. do you know who to contact about it? is it searchable on the internet? thank you very much. we badly need people’s help for this :( thank you!

    Like this

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