15 September 2014

Overstaying containers will still be moved to Subic

THE PHILIPPINES will continue moving twenty-foot metal containers to a facility outside Manila and charging storage fees for overstaying boxes to decongest its premier port.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and two harbor operators -- the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Asian Terminals Inc. -- made this announcement on Sunday, a day after a truck ban was lifted in Manila which was blamed for the port congestion.

“The lifting of the truck ban has given us the chance to decongest the port and get back to our normal way of life sooner than anticipated,” Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) general manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said in a statement.

Starting Oct. 1, the two port operators will be charging P5,000 per container if these remain parked at their facilities after the 5-day free storage period offered by the PPA, the statement said.

The move intends to discourage cargo owners from using terminals as their virtual warehouses, the statement said.

“However, instead of imposing the fine on the sixth day, the operators will impose the fee on the 11th day after getting clearance from the BoC (Bureau of Customs), effectively allowing cargo owners at least 10 days to get their cargoes out of the Manila ports,” the statement said.

On Friday, ICTSI and ATI transported 135 overstaying containers to the Subic port onboard the MV West Ocean 3, a vessel run by Super Shuttler Service of the ICTSI.

The vessel is again set to sail Tuesday to carry another 135 overstaying Customs-cleared containers and every Friday and Tuesday, thereafter, the statement said.

One thousand trucks have also been rented to carry some 2,000 overstaying Customs-cleared containers from Manila to a four-hectare facility in Cabuyao, Laguna, that started early Sunday morning, Sept. 14. They are expected to complete the transfer at noon Monday. This decongestion effort will be repeated for four Sundays by the terminal operators.

The operators are trying to remove about 5,000 TEUs of overstaying Customs-cleared ready-to-go containers at the Manila International Container Terminal and the Manila South Harbor to provide enough space for incoming cargoes. (BusinessWorld)