Home » Customs & Trade » 16% trucking rate hike on hold, but not for long

NORTH Harbor truckers have decided to temporarily defer implementation of their proposed 16% rate increase, subjecting the petition to further discussion with the Philippine Liner and Shipper Association (PLSA).

The reprieve may, however, be short lived with the truckers setting the deadline for the increase within the month.

The Allied Transport Group, WGA Truckers Association and the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association (INHTA), collectively known as North Harbor Trucking Association, said they decided to stall the increase that should have been enforced as early as New Year’s Day to make way for the meeting with PLSA set for tomorrow (Jan. 8).

Still, PortCalls sources claim some truckers have already implemented the 16% rate increase on their in-house accounts. Other operators are expected to follow suit if talks with PLSA drags, they said.

At the meeting, truckers expect PLSA to offer reasons why they think the increase is untimely and unjustified. A win-win solution to mitigate the impact of the increase is also being eyed.

In its petition, the truckers said the bunker surcharge has risen 28% in the past four months, the latest being the 17% hike implemented just last month.

Truckers are asking for an P817.77 increase in rate per 20-foot container from P5,100 to P5,917.77 per trip of 40 km round trip to and from Metro Manila.

The truckers said the rate increase covers only adjustments in direct cost such as fuel and spare parts, and not indirect expenses like interest and depreciation to help minimize its effects on shippers.

“One year and seven months after the last increase, and with the interminable rising costs of diesel fuel and other direct cost expenses, the P5,100 rate can no longer support daily operations as evident from some firms already closing shop,” they said.

“Our group will also not allow both the PLSA and SCMAP (Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines) to prolong negotiations like they did in our last petition… We believe that delays will result in inefficiency and a domino effect such as delays in deliveries of raw materials, delays in the manufacturing process and ultimately delays in all aspects of commercial activities,” they said.

In May 2006, INHTA, SCMAP and PLSA agreed to implement an 18% increase in trucking rates, 12% lower than the 30% increase petitioned by the group. — Christopher Paringit

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