Home » Ports/Terminals » Hike overstaying cargo fee to lick congestion – ATI, ICTSI

MANILA International Container Terminal (MICT) operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) and South Harbor operator Asian Terminals, Inc (ATI) are recommending to the Philippine Ports Authority and Bureau of Customs the strict adoption of a cargo dwell time as well as increase in fee for overstaying shipments.

Specifically, the operators want to retain the five-day free storage period but limit to five days the paid extension period for cargo withdrawal. Beyond the 10 days, they want the storage fee drastically increased to discourage shippers from using the terminals as virtual warehouses.

In addition, they are asking government to ensure fees of warehouses outside the ports are competitive to boost their usage.

The two operators have blamed overstaying cargoes as the main cause of congestion at their facilities.

They said the number of overstaying containers has more than doubled in the last three months. While yards were expanded last year, the resulting additional space is just being used as storage area for unclaimed cargoes.

At the moment, cargo dwell time at the MICT is seven to eight days from the normal four to five days and at the South Harbor, nine to 10 days from four to five days.

"We have increased our cargo capacity by 20% since June of 2011 so cargo space is not a concern," MICT general manager Christian Gonzalez explained.

"Our concern is the number of containers staying at our terminal more than the usual storage period. Dwell time of cargoes has really impacted port operations. Even if we continue to put space in our ports but the same cargoes continue to remain there, we will have the same problem."

ATI executive vice president for operations Ernst Schulze, for his part, urged importers and cargo owners to withdraw their cargoes as quickly as possible.

"Boxes really stay longer than usual at the ports which started since 2005 when volume started to prop up," Schulze said. "As our economy grows, we have to find a way to make containers move faster."

He added, "The lack of capacity in warehouses and other facilities outside the ports is also a possible problem, further stressing the need for us to move cargoes faster."

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