Home » Ports/Terminals » Truckers back out of plan to cut surcharges

THERE will be no early Christmas for North Harbor shippers. This after some members of the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association (INHTA) backed out of a planned reduction in surcharges.

Earlier INHTA promised to cut surcharges by 10% when the price of diesel, the fuel most commonly used by trucks, reaches the P45 per liter level. As of this writing, it is selling at P40 per liter.

INHTA president Catalino Costales told PortCalls that while fuel expenses have gone down, other costs such as maintenance, labor and truck spare parts have not seen significant drops, prompting members to retreat from the plan. The deepening global economic slowdown and the depreciation of the peso have also not helped brighten the picture.

“INHTA is not pushing through with the surcharge cut as announced,” Costales said. “We are not totally abandoning the scheme but will review it again when the condition somewhat stabilizes.”

“Implementing the cut now would only put us at a disadvantage and it would again take us some time to recover the cut if the current condition worsens,” Costales said.

INHTA has written off growth this year due to lower-than-expected cargo volumes. Recovery is also now unlikely even in the run-up to Christmas with the slowdown in the global economy and reduced market for Philippine exports.

Latest data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that total cargo throughput slumped more than 10% in the first seven months of the year.

PPA said both domestic and foreign cargoes showed weak performance with total volume dropping 7.17% and 12.61%, respectively.

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