Home » Maritime » North Harbor truckers see temporary setbacks ahead but still generally optimistic

MEMBERS of the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association (INHTA) are optimistic of achieving a 20% increase in cargo volume for 2010, the same growth already seen in the first half of the year.

Until then though, they said a few slow months will have to be negotiated due to the rainy season, which traditionally dampens cargo movement.

As it is, volumes for July are down 10% from the previous month. August figures are also expected to be lackluster.

“This is a normal cycle and we are not worried that our operations will go back to crisis levels,” INHTA president Salvador Tan told PortCalls.

“We are very optimistic that we will rebound toward September” due to the expected consumers’ “higher purchasing power” that will boost cargo volume, he said.

Meantime, the back-to-normal operations at the North Harbor are helping truckers cut their overheads. Operations of shipping lines — and allied sectors — were in disarray for a few months this year when the North Harbor’s new operator, Manila North Harbour Port, Inc, failed to provide adequate cargo-handling equipment at the facility.

Now shipping lines are temporarily using their own equipment until the operator comes up with what is required under its contract.

Cargo volume at the North Harbor increased 3% in the first half of the year due to strong performance of the import and export sectors. Port authorities said the volume could have been more if not for the equipment problem which cut vessel frequencies from three roundtrips a week to one.

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