19 August 2014

Gov't gives ICTSI incentives for declogging Port of Manila

The government has decided to give port operator International Container Terminals Services Inc. (ICTSI) incentives for its share in declogging the ports of Manila.

Port dues for the vessel chartered by ICTSI to bring out overstaying cargoes from the Port of Manila to Subic has been reduced from the $0.081 per GRT per call to only $1 per call while dockage at berth has been cut to $1 per vessel from $0.039 per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof.

The purpose of the reduction is to “incentivize” ICTSI since the port operator is the one to shoulder the cost in moving out all overstaying cargoes at the Port of Manila. The vessel will ship out about 6,000 containers out of the Manila ports to the Subic ports.

ICTSI is chartering a vessel with a capacity of about 1,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with a GRT of 18,321 tons for at least 14 days to ferry empty containers and other overstaying containers from the ports of Manila to Subic. During its stay in the country, the vessel is expected to ship about 4,000 to 6,000 TEUs out of the Manila ports.

Government slashes vessel-handling fees and port charges at Batangas Pier

The Office of the President has approved the proposal of the state-owned port body to give incentives to vessels that will dock at the Port of Batangas in a bid to further decongest the ports in Manila.

In a statement, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said MalacaƱang has given the go signal for the reduction of port charges and other vessel-handling related fees at the Port of Batangas to attract more direct callers and port users to utilize the gateway in the Southern Tagalog region.

For direct callers of Batangas, they can enjoy a 90-percent discount on port dues from the existing fee of $0.081 per gross revenue ton (GRT) per day to only $0.008 per GRT per day, as well as a 90-percent cut in dockage at berth from $0.039 per GRT to only $0.004 per GRT per day.

New rates

THE new rates, however, will be applicable only for six months wherein the discount for the succeeding six months will be reduced to 50 percent for both, or from $0.081 GRT per day to $0.040 per GRT per day, and from $0.039 per GRT to $0.020 per GRT per day.

The new rates took effect at the start of this month.

“This is a big boost in our bid to increase utilization of the Batangas port,” PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said. “The new directive has, likewise, changed the basis in the computation of the dockage at berth from per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof to per GRT per block of 24 hour or fraction thereof.”

Currently, there are at least six international carriers calling at Batangas port since June. This includes MCC Transport Corp., NYK Shipping Lines, SITC Container Lines, American Presidents Lines, Regional Container Lines/Pacific International Lines and CMA-CGM.

Sta. Ana noted that would aid the ongoing decongestion efforts being undertaken by the government at the ports in Manila.

Booming economy

THE tight bottleneck situation at the ports in the country’s capital was caused by the booming economy that resulted in the spike of cargo throughput due mainly to the increase in shipments from the imports and exports sector.

The ongoing truck ban imposed by Manila City and traffic congestion in major roads were also blamed for the port gridlock, which has resulted in the accelerated inflation last month. Inflation was at 4.9 percent, a three-year high from October 2011.

Manila ports’ decongestion

STA. Ana reported that the gridlock at the ports of Manila continues to decline with yard utilization almost down to the desired level of 80 percent.

The port body aims to arrest the adverse economic impact of the port congestion through several measures which include a 24-hour dedicated trucking lane and a weekend facility for the release of cargo. The government also is pushing for a longer moratorium period on the truck ban for certain routes and the promotion of the Batangas and Subic ports.

The Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion also continues to find ways on how to further decongest the ports including the opening up of additional empty container depots with close proximity to the Manila ports including a 10-hectare empty lot inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex to temporarily house empty containers bound to be collected by the international shipping lines.

The CCP depot will only be operated from 12 midnight to 5 a.m. to allow the free-flowing of trucks to and from the area. The facility will be maintained by the two listed firms.

Earlier, PPA ordered the two port operators ICTSI for MICT and ATI for Manila South Harbor, to come up with the list of shipments containing food items and other perishables and prioritize its release in order to reduce the inflationary effects of congestion to food items in the market. (Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror)