Home » Maritime » Local carriers seek return of free cargo standby time

THE Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) is pushing for the reimposition of the two-hour free standby time for cargoes at the North Harbor.

The free provision was granted in 2008 under Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) memorandum circular 08-2008 (Cost Recovery Adjustment in Cargo Handling Tariff) but was recalled before Manila North Harbour Port, Inc took over operations at the North Harbor.

The recall also came with a new schedule of fees.

“Deleting the two-hour standby time allowance at the MNH (Manila North Harbor) did not ‘level’ the field but rather placed the port at a disadvantage in as much as in all the ports nationwide, including the Manila South Harbor, the two-hour allowance for standby time is still practiced,” PLSA chair and president Sulficio Tagud, Jr said in a document obtained by PortCalls.

“PPA has since time immemorial granted two hours’ standby allowance as shown in the cargo handling tariff for all ports nationwide,” he added.

“The exclusion is also in violation of certain provisions in the (MNHPI North Harbor) contract, specifically Section 5:02: Cost Recovery Adjustment, under Article V: Port Tariff and Rate Adjustment in cargo handling rates, of which standby time is part of, (and the exclusion) shall be considered only when the adjustment is proposed after the third year of the contract.”

MNHPI charges at least a P1,000 for every hour of delay in the movement of both vessels and cargo at the North Harbor.

PPA and MNHPI promised to look in on the issue and to meet again soon with vessel operators.

To date, volume at the North Harbor is 3-5% better than last year’s.

Operating efficiency is also slowly improving after shipping lines and MNHPI agreed to enter into an agreement on the use of shipping lines’ cargo-handling equipment while MNHPI awaits delivery of its own.

Under the North Harbor contract, MNHPI is required to provide all equipment for carriers’ use.

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