Home » Ports/Terminals » Local shipping lines nix lower freight rates at North Harbor

LOCAL shipping lines are not slashing freight rates at the North Harbor by 10% to reflect a similar percentage cut in port fees implemented by new operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI).

MNHPI earlier challenged shipping lines to pass on to shippers the 10% savings in port fees they have enjoyed since January 15, 2010.

A Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) official told PortCalls MNHPI should have qualified its call, noting that the 10% reduction implemented at the North Harbor only applied to arrastre charges and not any other charge.

Arrastre charges are currently at about P900 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). A 10% reduction means savings of P90 per TEU.

“Also, the 10% is not even enough to cover losses we’ve incurred considering the delays we encountered since they (MNHPI) took over the port almost a month ago,” the official said.

He added port conditions remain chaotic contrary to MNHPI claims that operations have normalized. Cargo-handling equipment remains scarce, forcing shipping lines to use their own equipment, resulting in higher overheads, the source said.

Under the new North Harbor contract, shipping lines will cease operating their own equipment and will instead rely on equipment to be provided by the new operator.

Recently, shipping lines complained of a deterioration in vessel turnaround time to one round trip a week from the pre-turnover average of three a week.

Other shipping lines also complained of being refused docking at their regular berthing areas.

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