Manila port utilization back to normal – PPA

Manila port utilization back to normal – PPA

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Manila port utilization back to normal – PPA

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 23, 2015 – 12:00am




MANILA, Philippines – State-run Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) reported that utilization rate at the port of Manila is back to normal after the disruption of operations during the visit of Pope Francis to the country last month.


PPA general manager Juan Sta. Ana reported that utilization at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Manila South Harbor of Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) continues to improve to normal levels.


Sta. Ana said utilization in both ports stood at 76.5 percent or 62,300 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as of last Friday or 3.5 percentage points lower than the 80 percent utilization level target set by the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion.


He pointed out that yard utilization level has been hovering around 75 -to 79- percent since the Papal visit from Jan. 15 to 19.


“The continued decline in the utilization level of the Manila ports is a clear manifestation of a healthy government and private sector partnership,” Sta. Ana said.


Likewise, he reported that the combined number of vessels waiting at pilot station declined to five, excluding vessels currently at berth, with a combined total of 10 ships.


He said vessel turnaround time still remains at two days, while the average yard productivity for both ports is at 18 moves per hour per crane.


“Government and private sector partnership is vital particularly as we gear towards green and sustainable port operations, as well as adopting best practices and norms of today towards a fully revolutionized port operation,” he added.


As of end-June, the number of laden containers piled up at the Manila ports totaled 85,000 TEUs which occupied about 104 percent of the yard of the ports while the total of empty containers also reached a high of 22,000 TEUs.


The congestion was caused mainly by the day-time truck ban imposed by the City Government of Manila from Feb. 24 to end May that practically limited the movement of cargoes in and out of the ports during nighttime only.


Last Sept. 14, Manila mayor Joseph Estrada lifted the truck ban.


Julianito Bucayan Jr., undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), said the government would continue to work with the private sector to address the bottlenecks resulting to the port congestion.


He pointed out that both sectors should truly recognize and effectively play their role in coming up with a win-win solution to address every concern affecting the Philippine supply chain.


Bucayan added that a sound and harmonious relationship between the government and the private sector is a key factor in making the country move towards achieving its dream of being a major global player in the shipping and shipbuilding industries.


“As we continue to move forward, both the government and the private sector agreed to continue to give timely solutions in order to prevent such situation to happen again,” Bucayan stressed.


According to him, the resolution of the port congestion in the Port of Manila would benefit the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).


“We believe that if government and the private sector have a sound relationship, we can easily address issues of trade bottlenecks not only the Philippines, but also in the BIMP-EAGA as it offers very good growth areas now and in the future,” he said.


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