Data from the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (PSB) and the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the government agencies responsible for accrediting forwarders, showed there were 53 new international sea freight forwarders and 32 domestic sea freight forwarders last year.
Only a few engaged in airfreight forwarding with nine new players for international and two for both international and domestic.
The PSB statistics also showed Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounted for the majority of complaints regarding undelivered door-to-door boxes shipped by sea in 2013.
Out of the 149 total complaints received by PSB, 37 or 25% came from Saudi Arabia while 31 or 21% from the UAE.
There were 22 complaints or 15% of the total from the United States, 19 or 13% from Kuwait, 11 or 7% from the United Kingdom, and 7 or 5% from Singapore.
“The non-delivery of balikbayan (personal effects) boxes usually occurs when incoming shipments of balikbayan boxes are abandoned at the Philippine ports for failure of unscrupulous foreign consolidators to remit necessary funds to their Philippine agents for the delivery of cargoes to consignees,” PSB officer-in-charge Atty. Victorio Dimagiba explained.
In its latest advisory, PSB said it had filed formal charges against 33 foreign consolidators and 25 Philippine agents for the non-delivery of door-to-door boxes, and to 12 foreign consolidators and their 22 Philippine counterparts and agents that are performing freight forwarding services without PSB accreditation.
Seven cases against erring freight forwarders were also endorsed by PSB to the Department of Justice and city prosecutor’s office, while nine operators were issued show-cause orders.
Meanwhile, the CAB is set to hold air talks with two countries this first quarter.
CAB Planning and Research Department chief Jesus Ibay told PortCalls the agency will be sealing air agreements with Singapore in February and New Zealand in March.
There are also some countries the CAB said it will talk to, but Ibay would not identify them because there are no confirmations yet as to when.
The agency hopes to have air talks with Russia, with which it was supposed to open discussions last year, but this was postponed. The CAB is also hoping for talks with Taiwan.
The Philippines has a mutual air service agreement with Russia, but no seat entitlements.
Flights to Russia are essential as that country “is a key to PAL’s European flights” because the route to the European Union pass through Russian airspace, Ibay said.
CAB director Carmelo Arcilla earlier said Russia is a fast-growing economy with an increasing number of travellers, hence, it has a good market potential.
CAB concluded an air services agreement with France recently, increasing flight entitlements to that European country to seven from four.
Ibay said CAB has a target of a minimum of eight air agreements in a year and that the agency was able to achieve the target for 2013. This year, he added, the target is 10 air agreements. ––Roumina M. Pablo
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