ATI ordered to turn away trucks going to Manila South Harbor
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has ordered the Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) not to accept delivery trucks and container vans into the Manila South Harbor even if their appointments have been confirmed for Friday.
PPA also suspended the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) at the Manila South Harbor due to inclement weather.
“Suspendido muna ang lahat nang transaksyon sa ilalim ng TABS sa araw na ito hanggang bukas upang mabigyan ng sapat na oras na maiproseso ang mga transaksyon na naapektuhan ng work slowdown sa South Harbor dahil sa masamang panahon,” PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said in a statement.
Santiago has instructed ATI, the private operator of the Manila South Harbor, to “call those that have bookings for this afternoon to turn around already until ports are able to accommodate those that are already in the area.”
Meanwhile, ATI said the Manila South Harbor has experienced “intermittent operational disruption” since late Thursday night, including the entry of trucks into the terminal.
Port operations have been been on a “stop-go” situation since Thursday because of “severe wind disturbance.”
Wind speeds of 16 meters per second cause port cranes to fully stop, ATI explained, adding that intermittent wind speed patterns and uncertainty in operations translate to a “stop-go” situation or a full suspension at the discretion of operators.
This is a “necessary safety precaution, especially during inclement weather,” ATI noted.
“At any given time, the lives and safety of our stakeholders is the topmost priority,” it said in a separate statement.
ATI said it has mobilized all available spaces within the expanded port zone to accommodate inbound trucks and ease the traffic congestion.
“Bookings into the terminal through TABS have temporarily been suspended to allow us to immediately serve the existing backlog and to avoid additional queues,” the company said.
“We also advise our other trucking partners who have already pre-booked not to proceed to the terminal anymore until the situation has normalized. A customer circular and electronic messages have been issued to our customers as guidance,” it added.
On Friday morning, heavy traffic gripped portions of Roxas Boulevard as well as other adjacent roads in Manila leading to and from Manila’s Port Area due to a huge buildup of container trucks queueing to and from the Manila South Harbor and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).
The Manila City government advised motorists to avoid affected roads, predicting that the gridlock might last until Friday night.
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