Home » Customs & Trade » Overseas PH workers make freight forwarding a billion-dollar business

The growing number of balikbayan or door-to-door boxes, which reflects the steadily increasing legion of overseas Filipinos, is boosting the country’s billion-dollar freight forwarding business.

Philippine Shippers’ Bureau executive director Atty Victorio Mario Dimagiba said freight forwarding firms thrive because of the growing number of OFWs, who keep sending balikbayan boxes to their loved ones back home.

“Conservative figures show that if half of the 10 million OFWs send balikbayan boxes once a year and spend an average of $70 for the shipping cost, that’s already $350 million a year,” he said.

This, Dimagiba said, has led to the mushrooming of freight forwarding businesses, some of which are not accredited by PSB, a unit of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“We advise OFWs and their consignees in the Philippines not to do business with

freight forwarding companies that are not accredited by the PSB and with those whose licenses have been revoked,” Dimagiba said.

The PSB has released the list of 37 freight forwarding companies that had been formally charged by the bureau for allegedly failing to deliver balikbayan boxes. They include RGC Green Logistics, ABS-CBN Global Cargo Corporation, Aerosend, Associated Consolidated Express and Cargoship Inc.

The PSB also released the list of foreign principals or cargo consolidators which are under investigation. They are based in countries that host large concentrations of Filipinos, such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahrain, China, Cyprus, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The foreign principals include Jonar Cargo, KSA; Dausan International Forwarder, Australia; Dreamsworld Travel Tourism and Cargo Company WLL, Bahrain; and Philippine Eastern Transit Express Inc, China.

The PSB discovered that the foreign consolidators or principal sea freight forwarders did not remit a portion of the charges collected to their accredited Philippine agents or local sea freight forwarders, leading to balikbayan boxes being held up at customs.

“Because of this, local freight forwarders cannot pay the proper taxes to the Bureau of Customs. This resulted in abandonment and then seizure of the cargo in favor of the government. The poor OFWs then file complaints against the freight forwarders here at the PSB,” Dimagiba said.

Of the 632 accredited freight forwarders in the country, four have been issued show-cause orders following complaints by the box senders: Marron World Express Logistics Inc., Monark Customs Brokerage Corporation, RRG Freight Services and D’Winner Logistics Philippines, Inc.

Three freight forwarding companies – Al Rodah Marine Services, Rodah Cargo Services and D’Winner Logistics – have been charged before the Department of Justice.

PSB records show that of the 632 accredited freight forwarders, 422 are non-vessel common carriers, 590 are international freight forwarders some of whom also engage in domestic freight forwarding, and 157 are domestic freight forwarders.

Image courtesy of digitalart/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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