Manila port operations back to normal, says Razon's ICTSI
Enrique Razon Jr's International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated (ICTSI) said on Monday, April 20, that the Manila International Container Terminal's operational levels have returned to normal.
ICTSI said overall terminal utilization is now under 67% and refrigerated container utilization is under 65%, with cargo pullouts peaking last week.
The cargo pullouts do not include unclaimed cargo, which were transferred to other yards by the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Ports Authority.
All incoming ships are able to dock as scheduled, with no waiting time, according to ICTSI.
Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI executive vice president, said exemptions for cargo and penalties for overstayers worked. Along with the efforts of importers, Gonzalez said they avoided the "unmanageable consequences" of port congestion.
Gonzalez had written a letter addressed to shippers last March 27, warning that it would be "impossible to operate in an efficient manner" if cargo would continue to pile up.
Companies reported that trucks found it difficult to travel due to the inconsistent rules at various checkpoints.
"Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our frontline employees and many port stakeholders, the terminal has been able to pull off this feat. Efforts should continue, however, to ensure that we have no repeat of the dangerously low level of pullouts we experienced at the end of March and in early April," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez noted that stakeholders and the government "cannot afford to be complacent," as the coronavirus lockdown got extended to April 30.
"We must remember that there remains a significant amount of unclaimed cargo from well before March 2020, and we must ensure a free flow of cargo to facilitate the transport of critical food, medical supplies, and basic necessities," he said. – Rappler.com