Home » Breaking News, Ports/Terminals » Empties start to pile up again at Manila South Harbor

Empty containers are once more accumulating at the Manila South Harbor, further evidence of a slow export sector.

The pile-up has reportedly forced South Harbor operator Asian Terminals, Inc (ATI) to come up with a daily inventory of available slots per shipping line to guide truckers who are returning empties.

ATI is also now making full use of its Sta. Mesa container yard to ease container and vehicular traffic. The CY has been in full commercial operation only in the last few weeks.

“South Harbor is now feeling the congestion brought about by the pile-up of empties, the same problem they encountered last year,” Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) president Ruperto Bayocot told PortCalls.

“The pile-up is still caused by the country’s slow export industry,” he said.

This, he noted, is in sharp contrast to active imports with volume up 10-15% at the start of the fourth quarter.

“As for truckers, we are now taking about 4-5 hours just to deposit empty containers and almost the same number of hours taking out loaded boxes,” Bayocot said.

The situation at the Manila International Container Port is more manageable, he noted.

As a stop-gap solution to the increasing congestion, CTAP is asking shipping lines to make use of ATI’s CY in Sta. Mesa, placing the yard in their equipment inventory report as destination of empty containers, particularly those coming from the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Calabarzon) area.

According to CTAP, sending empties to Sta Mesa is cheaper and easier for shipping lines than waiting for a slot to open up at the South Harbor.

Shipping lines that have supposedly reached their empty pool quota include Gold Star Line, Mitsui OSK Lines, Orient Overseas Container Line, SITC Container Lines, and Tianjin Marine Shipping.

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