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FedEx closes hub in Philippines

US delivery giant FedEx closed its Asian hub in the northern Philippines Friday with the last flight leaving for Taiwan just before dawn.

FedEx announced two years ago that it would relocate re·lo·cate  
v. re·lo·cat·ed, re·lo·cat·ing, re·lo·cates
To move to or establish in a new place: relocated the business.

 its Asian hub from the former US naval base A naval base primarily for support of the forces afloat, contiguous to a port or anchorage, consisting of activities or facilities for which the Navy has operating responsibilities, together with interior lines of communications and the minimum surrounding area necessary for local  at Subic Bay Subic Bay

Inlet of the South China Sea, southwestern Luzon, Philippines. From 1901 it was the site of the U.S.-operated Subic Bay Naval Station, the largest naval installation in the Philippines.
, north of Manila Manila (mənĭl`ə), city (1990 pop. 1,601,234), capital of the Philippines, SW Luzon, on Manila Bay. Manila is the center of the country's largest metropolitan area, its chief port, and the focus of all governmental, commercial, industrial, , to Guangzhou in southern China.

"Last night was the last night of full operations," said Subic Bay administrator Armand Arreza.

"The market in China is bigger than the entire market of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, region of Asia (1990 est. pop. 442,500,000), c.1,740,000 sq mi (4,506,600 sq km), bounded roughly by the Indian subcontinent on the west, China on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the east. . China also gave FedEx rights to handle its domestic cargo, which is huge," Arreza said.

The FedEx hub, which began operations in 1996, earned the Subic Bay authority about 150 million pesos (3.2 million dollars) from landing fees and warehousing in 2008.

Company employees, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about 500 workers would lose their jobs. At the peak of its operations in 2004, the FedEx unit in Subic employed about 800 people.

At the time it was hoped that the FedEx move would lure foreign businesses to Subic and breathe new life into the area after the US closed its military bases in the Philippines in 1992.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Feb 6, 2009
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