Home » Customs & Trade » MICT technical problem cuts truckers’ trips in half

TRUCKERS continue to encounter delays in their operations due to technical problems at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) president Ruperto Bayucot told PortCalls truckers’ trips have been cut by more than 50% since the problem began exactly a week ago when MICT changed its terminal operations system.

The move affected the response of the MICT gate system, in turn affecting the entry and exit of trucks into the terminal. Heavy traffic has been reported in and around the facility since then.

Other PortCalls sources also complained of delays in import release and a shortage of container vans for export.

“Truckers right now consider it lucky if they can do two roundtrips per truck a week from the usual four,” Bayucot said.

“So far we can still carry the extra burden but this (situation) should not drag beyond this week otherwise it will really pull down our business… (and here) we are still recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis.”

Bayucot said that based on estimates, truckers will lose about P28,000 a week for each truck carrying 1,100 containers. About 300 trucks make trips to the MICT each day.

MICT action

MICT has apologized to CTAP for the problem. In a letter to Bayucot dated September 6, MICT terminal manager Aurelio C. Garcia noted that the MICT “management has agreed to waive any additional storage and electrical charges that may have been incurred beyond the validity of Gate-passes issued since last Tuesday morning to Saturday.”

He said gate checkers have been “instructed to disregard expired gate-passes and allow the holders access to the port without the need to revalidate the gate-passes.”

Garcia added, “This extension of gate-passes, however, will not be indefinite, gate operations are almost back to normal levels and traffic around the MICT today (as of this writing… last September 4) has improved significantly.”

Garcia also advised truckers “who may have already paid to revalidate the gate-passes and settled additional storage or electrical charges” to write him a letter so that credit memos can be issued for use in future transactions.

Late last week, MICT operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) issued a press statement saying that the technical problem had been licked and that operations are back to normal.

ICTSI said the problems were caused by “self-inflicted” factors (specifically rising port volumes) and external issues (the unusually long weekend with August 30, a Monday, declared a holiday).

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