Home » Maritime » International lines to collect congestion surcharge in Manila

Starting January, international shipping lines servicing Manila will impose a congestion surcharge due to the persistent jam at the South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

The surcharge will be equivalent to $50 for each twenty-footer and $100 for each forty-footer for all inbound and outbound containers.

The fee is on top of the container imbalance charge (CIC) being collected by carriers for shipping empty containers out of Manila.

According to the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA), several carriers have in fact begun imposing the congestion surcharge right after notifying the Philippine Ports Authority of such a charge.

"The greater burden will be shouldered by the public with the application of the new surcharge," PISFA president Mendoza told PortCalls.

"Forwarders are also somewhat affected as we will pay for (the surcharge) without any guarantee of reimbursement from shippers," Mendoza explained.

"We consider this as double charging as this is the same as the CIC.

However, we have no plans of opposing due to lack of government support. We’ll just have to carry the added burden."

The Association of International Shipping Lines, for its part, said its members have yet to issue a decision on the surcharge but hinted of its likelihood.

As of this writing, congestion at the South Harbor and MICT has somewhat eased with operators of the two facilities sending a portion of empty containers to their respective Batangas and Subic terminals.

Several shipping lines have also begun picking up their empties at South Harbor and the MICT.

However, it still takes from five to eight hours for a truck to drop an empty container at any of the ports and about the same amount to carry a laden container out of the facilities.

Just last week, truck operators announced the imposition of a P1,000 fuel surcharge for every twenty-footer they carry – laden or not – into the ports.

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