Home » Ports/Terminals » North Harbor operations now near normal — shipping lines

Operations at the North Harbor are almost back to normal, but no thanks to the port’s new operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc (MNHPI).

The shift may be attributed to individual shipping lines that have brought in their own port equipment, according to the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA). The association, which counts as members Negros Navigation, Solid Shipping Lines, Oceanic, NMC Container Lines, Lorenzo Shipping Corp, and Sulpicio Lines, handles more than half of the country’s local traffic.

It may be recalled that when MNHPI took over the operation of North Harbor in April, shipping lines complained of delays due to lack of equipment. Under the North Harbor contract, MNHPI is obligated to supply port equipment.

An executive from one of the PLSA members said delays are now minimal and vessel frequencies back to their usual average of three roundtrips a week. Upon MNHPI’s takeover of the port, frequencies dropped to one voyage a week.

The source acknowledged the use of carriers’ own equipment has meant higher overheads for the lines. “The only consolation is that our operations are now back to normal, but it is still a tough pill to swallow as the privatization has been a drag to business instead of improving it.”

The source added, “Practically there is really no change in North Harbor except that control was transferred from the Philippine Ports Authority to MNHPI.”

At the moment, PLSA members charge MNHPI at least P20,000 in demurrage for every recorded vessel delay to partly recoup expenses resulting from the operation of their own equipment.

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