No port congestion seen during holidays–PPA
EVEN with a higher volume of cargo expected to arrive during the months leading to the holidays, the government agency overseeing the operations of ports nationwide sought to give an assurance that there would not be any congestion because an efficient booking system for outbound and inbound cargo is already in place.
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) general manager Jay Daniel Santiago, in a statement, said ports with heavy cargo traffic in Manila and other parts of the country are being managed efficiently as a result of the Terminal Appointment Booking System.
“We can say that Philippine ports are ready to handle the expected increase in the volume of cargo expected in the run-up to Christmas,” he said.
The PPA, he said, noted that cargo volumes went up in the first half of 2016 by 11 percent.
Combined yard use in Manila ports is now at 40 percent.
Total cargo output reached 141.7 million metric tons this year from 128.2 mmt in the first seven months of 2015.
“Despite the surging numbers, we guarantee that our ports remain clogged-free and can accommodate the increasing cargo, passenger and ship call volumes,” Santiago said.
He said the country’s vibrant economy is mirrored by activity in ports and higher cargo volume is a good sign.
“The strong numbers in the passage sector also suggests the continuing vibrancy of both the local and international travel industries and more people are now considering traveling using ships,” Santiago added.
Passenger volume registered an 11 percent increase at 42.5 million for the first seven months of the year, up from 38.2 million in the same period last year.
The number of foreign passengers arriving and exiting the Philippines through seaports rose by 69 percent, or 71,514 passengers, while domestic passenger volume posted an 11 percent increase or 42.4 million passengers.
The ports of Agusan, Mindoro, Panay and Guimaras provinces and the port serving Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces are among those that posted the biggest growth percentage in local and foreign cargo volume while North
Harbor remained the top performer in terms of domestic cargo volume.
The Manila International Container Terminal Services Inc. remained the country’s top handler of foreign cargo, followed by the Manila South Harbor, while the Manila North Harbor posted the highest volume of domestic cargo handled.
In Cebu City, three business groups are asking the government to look into additional charges being collected by international shipping lines on outbound and inbound cargo even if the Cebu International Port (CIP) is not suffering from congestion.
In a manifesto, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association and Chamber of Customs Broker Inc in Cebu asked President Duterte to instruct the Department of Trade and Industry to check on the shipping firms’ operations.
The shipping firms are collecting additional charges for port congestion and “container imbalance” even if there is no congestion at CIP. With report from Victor Anthony Silva, Inquirer Visayas
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