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Shippers told to remove 'overstaying' cargoes in choked Manila ports
PPA general manager Jay Santiago said the shutdown could happen if cargo owners and consignees continue to disregard calls to withdraw cleared, ready for delivery, and overstaying cargoes.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File

Shippers told to remove 'overstaying' cargoes in choked Manila ports

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - April 7, 2020 - 2:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation and the Philippine Ports Authority on Tuesday called on cargo shippers and consignees (recipients) to pull out "overstaying cargoes" clogging Manila ports, with yard utilization reportedly exceeding 90%.

"The last time we called the attention of cargo shippers, and consignees, they pulled out their overstaying cargoes and we reached 75% utilization. Now, it is over 90% again. I am again appealing to you— be consistent in pulling out your overstaying cargoes to make much-needed space in our ports," Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a Tuesday release.

Tugade said that if left uncontrolled, the port congestion will lead to cargo delays that in turn would impact commodity prices amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This congestion will not only limit the movement of cargoes in our ports, it will also result to delays of cargo delivery, which will affect prices of goods, and that's not what we want right now, or ever.”.

In response, authorities are targeting an estimated 60% yard utilization suited for "ideal operation."

Previously, the DOTr and PPA asked cargo owners and receivers to pull out containers in the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the Manila South Harbor, which were said to have reached as much as 96 to 98% utilization.

RELATED: Overstaying cargoes continue to plague Manila ports

Meanwhile, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said they are coordinating with the Bureau of Customs regarding more than 800 overstaying refrigerated containers or “reefers” at the MICT.

“Reefers staying at the terminal for more than 30 days and are not withdrawn by April 14, 2020 will be considered abandoned by the BOC and will be disposed of in accordance with law," Santiago said, citing Joint Administrative Order 20-01.

“If we continue to ignore calls to withdraw even only those cleared, ready for delivery, and overstaying cargoes, our ports are in danger of total collapse, resulting in full-blown port congestion, or worst, a shutdown, and consequently a shortage in the much-needed goods and supplies which are expected to address the demands of the market.”

Port officials have since temporarily authorized an area at the Manila North Harbor for the "immediate and accelerated transfer of all overstaying foreign containers already cleared for delivery or withdrawal" in order to smoothen MICT operations during the lockdown.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION DOTR ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE LUZON ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE LUZON LOCKDOWN NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY PPA
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