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27 July 2014

SBITC waives port fees for ships bringing empty containers to Subic

Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has agreed to waive any port fees including stevedoring on all shipping lines bringing their empty containers to Subic port.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said that starting August 10, container empties will be transferred to Subic Bay’s new container terminals 1 and 2.

International shipping lines and port operators have agreed to send empty containers piling up at Manila ports to Subic port and in order to ease congestion brought about by the Manila truck ban.

Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) President Patrick Ronas said as of July 11, there were 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) empty containers at Manila ports, down 21% from 14,000 TEUs recorded on July 7.

PPA said foreign shipping lines agreed to send “sweepers” to the Port of Manila to ship out empties to Subic Bay port following a July 7 meeting attended by representatives of the Bureau of Customs, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), port operators ICTSI and Asian Terminals, Inc, AISL and Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP).

PPA said all parties are looking at directly sending container empties originating from north of Manila to Subic instead of bringing them to Manila then sending them back to Subic via the sweepers.

Approximately 30% of cargoes passing through Manila ports are northbound. PPA said CTAP agreed to come out with a “favorable fare matrix” for this scheme. The transportation of container vans via trucks is on account of importers, which are clients of truckers.

PPA said for southbound cargoes such as Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, empty containers will be directly transported to Batangas Port. On the other hand, empties to and from Cavite will be transported back to neighboring Manila.

For exporters needing boxes for shipments out of Manila, they can secure containers stored in Batangas or Subic.

Aside from Subic and Batangas as temporary empty container depots, PPA is also looking at tapping a 21-hectare property of ICTSI in Cabuyao, Laguna as depository for empties.

The PPA expects yard utilization at Manila ports will normalize within a month’s time if all agencies acted their part. (Edu Lopez, Manila Bulletin)

http://www.mb.com.ph/sbitc-waives-port-fees-for-ships-bringing-empty-containers-to-subic/

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