The Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) said concerted efforts being exerted by both government and private sectors in the maritime logistics industry have resulted in improved container yard utilization in Manilaâs ports, leading to a more rationalized manner of dealing with empty containers.
The Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) said concerted efforts being exerted by both government and private sectors in the maritime logistics industry have resulted in improved container yard utilization in Manila’s ports, leading to a more rationalized manner of dealing with empty containers.
Edd Gumban/File
International shippers laud decongestion of Manila ports
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — International shipping lines yesterday hailed what they described as the “collaborative and complementing” efforts of various government agencies and the private sector to iron out problems at Manila ports, particularly decongestion.

The Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) said concerted efforts being exerted by both government and private sectors in the maritime logistics industry have resulted in improved container yard utilization in Manila’s ports, leading to a more rationalized manner of dealing with empty containers.

In a statement, it hailed the moves being undertaken by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), as well as the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) “in resolving the problems (on) how we could fully utilize our ports.”

“AISL has been and will always support these moves that will benefit all sectors in the industry,” lawyer Maximino Cruz, who represents the group, said.

The BOC recently ordered the transfer of empty containers to Subic and Batangas, while major players in the industry—the AISL, the Alliance of Concerned Trucks Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), Container Depot Alliance of the Philippines (CDAP) and ICTSI—forged a document on an “Action for the Immediate Resolution to the Current Issue of Empty Container Returns.”

“AISL has long been waiting for this development. That all sectors in the industry could hold dialogues, work in one direction and avoid any conflict that could disrupt the regular flow of commerce and industry in our ports,” Cruz said.

He added that as “a frontend and tail end participant in the flow of commerce in the industry, the international shipping lines would want nothing less than a seamless, smooth flow of traffic, particularly of containers—whether emptied or not.”

“We bring in the containers, and we ship them out. As such, we also consider ourselves in the middle of this process. We are at the beginning and end of this process as we, too, like the truck owners, dock owners, port operators want just one thing – the swift, smooth disposition of shipment,” he said.

BOC Commissioner Leonardo Guerrero earlier ordered all empty containers at the Manila ports to be transferred to the Port of Batangas (POB) or the Subic Bay Freeport (SBFP).

Complementing the government’s efforts, Cruz pointed out that “concrete steps to solve the problem are now being undertaken by AISL and its members.”

Cruz disclosed that shipping lines have agreed to cooperate and collaborate in sharing the burden of “getting the empty containers out of Philippine ports and transporting them to foreign ports, where they await to be laden, at the soonest possible time.”

The industry agreement will also provide more areas where the empty containers could be accommodated at what are called “off-dock depots” to ease congestion that would be created in Batangas or Subic.

In the agreement, CDAP will “identify possible areas of lease” and increase the capacity of places where it will be stored by 10 hectares. ICTSI, on the hand, agreed to shoulder the costs for leasing these areas.

“This will allow CDAP to expand without risk of being burdened by a lease when the situation reverts to normal and provide flexibility for the AISL and the truckers to implement global best practice of returning empty containers to Empty Container Depots (ECD),” the agreement read.

ICTSI also agreed to move 5,000 overstaying containers, which are still at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), to a location still to be determined.

This is expected to address the issue of an artificial shortage of trucks, as this would reduce the turnaround for trucks from the current two to three days to just one day.

ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING LINES MANILA PORTS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with