It has been nearly three months since International Container Terminal Services Inc was informed by the Port Authority of Guam that it was the preferred offeror for the port’s privatization and nearly two months since Port Authority and ICTSI had its first meeting. There still has not been a contract signed.

Manuel De Jesus director of business development for ICTSI told the Journal "The way I see it now the ball is in the port authority’s court as to when they want to call for the next meeting. What we are told as of now is that they are still reviewing the outcome of the first meeting. We’re just waiting to be called again."

De Jesus said "We were informed early December of last year that we were the preferred offeror. We were called to come early January the following year to begin negotiating a working agreement or some kind of contract. We have had one meeting so far with the port authority and so far nothing has happened."

According to the intended schedule in the "Privatization RFP for Cargo Operations Within Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port" the process should have taken less than a year. The port authority should have selected a preferred offeror by July 1 2005. The negotiation of an agreement was scheduled to begin Aug. 2 2005 and the contract should have been approved by Sept. 2005.

Out of the 13 companies the Journal identified that picked up proposal packets in May 2005 only three made the submission deadline (See "Heavy hitters briefed on port privatization RFP" in the May 16 2005 issue of the Journal.). The three companies were SSAT a joint venture of SSA Marine and Matson Navigation Co.; Portek International Ltd.; and ICTSI. Of the three ICTSI was the highest bidder (See "RP port operator highest bidder in Guam privatization bid" in the Dec. 26 2005 edition of the Journal.).

De Jesus said the whole process from the beginning has been very slow. "The bids were submitted in June and the announcement of a winner came in December so that took six months. If the schedule on the bid document was followed it should have only taken 30 days."

Michael P. Henderson marketing communications administrator of the Port Authority of Guam "We aren’t aware of any problem. It is still under negotiation as far as we are concerned."

International Container Terminal Services Inc. was established in December 1987. ICTSI’s Web site at states "We have been cited by the Asian Development Bank as being one of the top five major maritime terminal operators in the world. The group also holds the title of being the first entity within the Philippine maritime industry to be ISO 9002 and ISO 14001 certified confirmations of our commitments to standards of excellence in all theaters our operations encompassing both front-line and back-up aspects of maritime facility development management and operation."

According to ICTSI 11 years ago after building up the strength of the Manila International Container Terminal in the Philippines the company entered into an aggressive international and domestic expansion campaign.

In November 2005 ICTSI reported a third quarter consolidated net income of 405 million pesos up 14% from the 355 million pesos ($6.57 million) earned in the same quarter in 2004. It’s net income from January 2005 to September 2005 amounted to some 1.1 billion pesos ($20.4 million) a 34% jump from the 815 million ($15.1 million) in the same period 2004 and slightly more than the 2004 full year net income of 1.09 billion pesos ($20.2 million).

Amidst the negotiations between the Port Authority and ICTSI a Dubai-owned company abruptly abandoned its plan to manage operations at six U.S. ports according to national media reports. ICTSI would be another example of a foreign owned company running a U.S. port. MBJ