Manila port operations to normalize in August

Posted at 07/14/14 5:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Operations at Manila ports are expected to normalize within the next four weeks amid the day-time truck ban imposed in the city, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said.

Government has been looking at new measures in efforts to decongest the ports.

PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana again pointed to the day-time truck ban as the reason for the worsening traffic congestion at the Ports of Manila, saying the pile-up of containers at the ports has caused inefficiency in operations.

“Traffic being experienced right now is caused by the declogging of the ports brought about by the pile-up of containers brought about by the earlier ban and we expect that traffic will slowly ease up especially with the run-up to Christmas is again just around the corner,” he said.

Sta. Ana also said an estimated 17,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) empty containers are occupying the Ports of Manila.

Foreign shipping lines have agreed to remove the empty containers at the Manila International Container Terminal operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Manila South Harbor of Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) and transfer it to Subic Bay.

ICTSI and Subic Bay International Terminal, Corp. (SBITC), meanwhile, have agreed not to charge port fees to all shipping lines that will assist in bringing empty containers to Subic.

“The PPA continues to exert extra effort in coming up with a win-win and long-term solution to the current condition through further consultation with the local government, other government agencies concerned and all the port stakeholders like cargo owners, freight forwarders, etc.,” Sta. Ana said.

He continues to urge authorities to lift the truck ban for six months in an attempt to “lure shipping lines to return to the Philippines.”