Leading terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has praised the Philippine government’s efforts to clear overstaying cargo from ports in Manila.
On March 15, 2019, the government led various port stakeholders such as ICTSI, Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI), and international shipping lines in the signing of a “Manifesto of Support”, ensuring the efficient utilization of Manila ports and immediate retrieval of empty cargo.
Following an ultimatum from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), issued with the support of Department of Transportation (DoTr), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the “swift disposition” of overstaying containers was arranged.
Jupiter Kalambakal, of ICTSI, discusses the Manila Terminal in a recent Port Technology technical paper
Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI Global Corporate Head, commented: “We thank the Philippine government for taking a hard stand in fast-tracking the disposal and reduction of overstaying and empty containers at Manila ports.
“The results have been immediate and goes to show what determination and focus of purpose can do.”
As a result of this, yard utilization at ICTSI’s flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) quickly decreased from 90% in January 2019 to 70% at the start of April.
According to a statement, the healthy drop in utilization occurred despite a higher volume of containers being handled during the same period, including record TEU throughput in March 2019.
HEADS-UP: The @DOTrPH, PPA, @CustomsPH, cargo handlers, shipping lines, truckers and other port stakeholders will sign a Manifesto on Friday, 15 March 2019, to free-up the Ports of Manila of empties and overstaying containers. #MaritimeSectorWorks pic.twitter.com/X2arnFo0xX
— Philippine Ports Authority (@phports) March 11, 2019
In addition to this, MICT was able to accept twice as many empty containers due to the increase in capacity, boosting the availability of trucks to speed up import and export processes.
Gonzalez also said: “We are optimistic that most have understood the need for containers to move regularly and in a timely fashion, but the proof will come after Easter which historically has seen overstaying boxes surge.”