Home » Customs & Trade » Better economy to spur logistics growth

THE Philippine economy is headed for better times ahead.

“With the way things are going and from our perspective, it will be a good year,” said Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI) president Noemi Saludo. Saludo is also former president of the Port Users Confederation (PUC), the umbrella organization of transport industry associations. Even the short term offers opportunities, Saludo said. She expects employment figures to rise during the election season. This would boost the manufacturing sector, in turn improving the import and export regime, and in turn pushing the logistics business.

Last year, PUC noted substantial improvements in the air freight sector. This year, more air cargo carriers are exhibiting interest about investing in the country, Saludo said, especially with the recent approval of an open skies air cargo policy for Clark and Subic. For other sectors of the logistics industry, much needs to be done particularly land transport, Saludo said, noting the few government initiatives in infrastructure development. “For instance, a lot of export processing zones in the Alabang viaduct area are being established.

However, there is no proper infrastructure for delivery and pick up so there were a lot of difficulties,” she said. Pressing logistics concerns The most pressing logistics problems, according to Saludo, are the truck ban, growing incidence of hijacking, and the P500 fee imposed by some municipalities on every truck that passes through their area of jurisdiction.

The PCCI president also complained about unilateral charges, such as the container deposit fee, being imposed by ocean carriers. “Sometimes they charge as high as P15,000. It is not justifiable to impose these costs because usually it is the forwarding company that will put up with such amount,” she explianed.

On top of this, carriers sometimes slap shippers with “unknown” charges such as those for insurance and container cleaning. “Shippers only find out about these things when refunds are returned,” she said.

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