Home » Ports/Terminals » Congestion cuts truck trips from three to one weekl

LOSSES for industry stakeholders continue to mount with ongoing congestion at the South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

In an interview, Deogracias De Guzman, vice president of trucking operator Skyland Brokerage Corp, said the port jam is cutting truckers' margins which would have otherwise been healthy thanks to strong imports.

"Congestion at the South Harbor and MICT is really our biggest headache right now as it is greatly reducing the number trips of our trucks," De Guzman told PortCalls. "Based on our computation, the number of trips of our trucks per week is now only one roundtrip compared to three to four per week under normal conditions."

He added, "We are likewise shelling out an additional $50 to $100 straight from our pockets to shipping lines just to have our empty containers shipped out."

The revenue of each truck that delivers to/from South Harbor and MICT to any point in Luzon amounts to approximately P5,700. Under normal conditions, a truck can complete its delivery within 36 hours and average three round trips a week to earn P17,000 a week.

But with the congestion, trucks now take about 36 hours just to deposit empty containers and another 36 hours to withdraw laden boxes. This means each truck earns only P5,600 and books foregone revenues of P11,400 per week.

De Guzman said the proposal of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and terminal operators to use Batangas and Subic "as possible junkyard for empties is also not feasible due to distance issues", considering fuel expenses will soar since trucks will get to Manila from either Batangas or Subic without any load at all.

In addition, PPA is looking at converting the three-hectare Slip Zero area adjacent to North Harbor into a truck holding area for empties. This will clear Intramuros and the Delpan Bridge area from trucks waiting idly for their turn to enter or leave the ports, a situation that has inconvenienced all motorists.

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