An average of 30,109 vehicles per day, mostly from the logistics industry, have benefitted from the travel convenience brought by the NLEX Harbor Link, four months after the completion of its 2.6-kilometer section between the cities of Caloocan and Navotas.

Traffic reports also showed that around 7,222 vehicles were diverted from NLEX Balintawak southbound which allowed motorists going to Quezon City and A. Bonifacio to experience traffic-free travel.

The entire NLEX Harbor Link, which traverses Brgy. Karuhatan, Valenzuela City; Tinajeros in Malabon City; Caloocan Interchange in Grace Park C3/5th Avenue; and Navotas Interchange in North Bay Boulevard South, Navotas City, has paved way for the easier delivery of goods and services in areas between NLEX and Port of Manila. It has cut travel time from Quezon City to the Port of Manila from two hours to 20 minutes.

NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista noted that despite the travel restrictions brought by the current pandemic, the Harbor Link has continued to serve motorists both northbound and southbound directions.

“As motorists, especially those driving cargo trucks, discover the efficiency of using the Harbor Link route, traffic at the Balintawak southbound and nearby roads has been reduced. What we have envisioned a few years ago is now happening—that is helping ensure the faster movement of vehicles traveling between the Port and different inland destinations in North and Central Luzon,” Bautista said.

With infrastructure being one of the cornerstones of the Duterte administration, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar regarded the Harbor Link as an important part of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program aimed at reducing road travel time within Luzon.

“The recent completion of the NLEX Harbor Link is a testament to our commitment of providing necessary infrastructure support to decongest local roads and strengthen the country’s supply chain and logistics sector,” Villar said.

Mel Gulapa, owner of M.R. Gulapa Trucking Services, affirmed that the Harbor Link has been facilitating the unhampered delivery of essential goods and enabling quicker turnaround times for commercial vehicles as there is no truck ban being imposed on the expressway. “The NLEX Harbor Link has shortened the delivery time of our trucks thereby saving up on fuel expenses and increasing our revenues. Transporting deliveries became more convenient because it has lessened the traffic buildup,” he said.

Hataw Truckers Director and Mansar Trucking Proprietor Adolfo Manlabao also agreed that “this road is both beneficial for the trucking industry and private commuters. It offers the shortest travel time and helps decongest the Port Area.”

As the World Bank cites the logistics sector as one of the core pillars of growth, the performance of our logistics systems has been vital to achieving the country’s economic competitiveness. In his previous statement, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez mentioned that the opening of the Harbor Link is a welcome development as this boosts productivity and spur trade and commerce.

“Effective logistics development is the key in facilitating trade and connectivity. It lowers cost and clearance time of imports and exports, while also ensuring the smooth flow of commodities. Having stable and reliable logistics would encourage market expansion and improve investors’ confidence in our country’s ability to transport goods and services,” Lopez said.

The NLEX Harbor Link offers a much-needed recourse to reduce the travel time from Quezon City to Manila and serves its purpose of alleviating the daily traffic woes of cargo trucks, commuters, and other drivers. Moreover, it has enabled truckers to cut their operating costs, thus giving opportunities to increase their earnings.