THE just-ended week-long total daytime truck ban in Metro Manila had been a “nightmare” that caused backlogs in transporting cargoes and led to extra costs for the supply chain and trucking industry, supply chain managers and truckers said.
They said there is a looming possibility the problems will not be over soon.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority implemented the total daytime truck ban from Dec. 13 to 20 in a move to ease traffic on the metropolis’ streets at the height of the Christmas shopping season.
But the ban drew contempt from the supply chain management industry and truck operators.
“(Its) impact is terrible and (is) proving (to be) a logistical and distribution nightmare to all types of industry,” Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP) president Arnel Gamboa told PortCalls in a text message last week.
“Lead time has been affected by additional two to three days; there are overtime costs and traffic will just worsen as many resort to smaller trucks on the streets for distribution,” Gamboa added.
This was seconded by Integrated North Harbor Trucking Association (INHTA) president Teodorico Gervacio and Portusers Confederation president Dominador de Guzman.
Gervacio said trucking prices “skyrocketed” due to fees operators incurred for not being able to deliver during the daytime ban that began at 6am and ended at 10pm.
He also noted that one of the reasons why turnaround took longer was that some container yards were not open at night, the only time trucks were allowed to ply the roads for the duration of the daytime truck ban.
Gervacio said some clients resorted to paying double just to have their cargoes, especially exports, delivered.
Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines president Ruperto Bayocot said it took not just three days but five to return empty containers because of the ban.
The Association of International Shipping Lines earlier held a dialogue with CTAP and the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) on the return of empty containers. AISL said it would come up with a solution in about a month.
Both CTAP and ACTOO said that it would not take less than a month to ease the backlog, especially since there would still be loads of cargoes in January due to inventory replenishment.
Meanwhile, there is another looming problem for the trucking industry.
“We’re also planning to convene all the associations to jointly petition (against) the permanent implementation of the modified truck ban on Jan. 6,” Gamboa said.
Last June, the MMDA had extended the modified uniform truck ban for another six months or until Jan. 5. The ban prohibits trucks and vehicles weighing more than 4,500 kilograms from using the roads from 6am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm except Sundays and holidays.
“If this doesn’t work, we will try to take the issue to Malacañang,” Gamboa said. –– Roumina M. Pablo
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