Home » Breaking News, Maritime » 15% hike in cargo-related handling fees at Manila ports approved

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has approved a 15% increase in cargo-related handling fees petitioned by the country’s top two terminal operators.

The increase is lower than the 21% originally requested by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) for Manila International Container Terminal and South Harbor, respectively.

The 15% hike will be implemented in two tranches — 8% sometime next month after the 30-day publication requirement and the remaining 7% six months later or in January 2013.

“We found the petition to be justified as it is only a cost-recovery scheme considering the recent spike in the prices of fuel, inflation, etc,” said Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) deputy administrator for planning Atty. Nicasio Conti, who chaired the hearing panel on the petitioned rate increase.

“However, we reduced it to only 15% which will be imposed in two tranches in order not to burden shippers,” he said.

“The hearing panel and the (PPA) Board believe that both ICTSI and ATI can make do with this percentage,” Conti added.

Last February, ICTSI and ATI filed a petition with the PPA for a 21% increase in cargo-related handling fees at the Manila International Container Terminal and the South Harbor, respectively.

In justifying their petitions, the terminal operators cited their investments in container-handling equipment, information technology upgrades, traffic management system and the high costs of power, diesel and daily wage as reasons for the new arrastre rates.

Over two years ago, PPA also allowed ICTSI and ATI to hike their cargo-related handling fees by 15% for adoption in two tranches — the first 8% increase implemented in May 2009 and the remaining 7% in January 2010.

In addition, PPA allowed operators to impose a 17% increase in vessel-related cargo-handling rates also in two-tranches — the first 11% in November 2011 and the balance in May this year.

Photo courtesy of ICTSI

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