Monday, March 1, 2021
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16 carriers scrap PH port congestion surcharges

Manila
Manila South Harbor photo courtesy of port operator Asian Treminals Inc

As of May 19, a total of 16 foreign shipping lines operating in the Philippines have already lifted their port congestion surcharges (PCS), while seven carriers have scrapped their emergency cost recovery surcharge (ECRS).

Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz, in an email to PortCalls, said the association has received information indicating that the following lines have lifted their PCS: APL, “K” Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line, Orient Overseas Container Line, Regional Container Lines, Pacific International Line, Evergreen, COSCO, TS Lines, Sinotrans, SITC, Wan Hai, China Shipping, Hanjin, and KMTC. One line, Yang Ming, never imposed PCS to begin with.

“These shipping lines carry around 80% of import container volume, more or less, entering Philippine ports,” Cruz noted.

On March 2, the government announced that operations at Manila ports have normalized with the easing of congestion, and foreign carriers responded sometime after by starting to lift their PCS.

Seven carriers—APL, “K” Line, Hapag-Lloyd, MCC Transport, Maersk, Mitsui OSK Line, and NYK—have also scrapped their ECRS.

Cruz said the rest of the AISL member carriers have advised their foreign principals of the need to lift the ECRS, but have yet to receive official confirmation from them. AISL has 39 members.

“It will be a commercial decision for each concerned shipping line,” Cruz noted.

To claims that foreign carriers only transferred their PCS to ECRS, Cruz noted these are two different charges. The PCS addresses the costs carriers incurred from queuing for weeks in order to berth at Manila port during the time of congestion. ECRS, on the other hand, covers landside costs, which include trucking fees for transporting empty containers from container yards to terminals to be repositioned out of the country, as well as other ancillary costs.

Cruz earlier said lines previously were able to absorb landside costs but could no longer do so due to the continued high trucking rates. It was also noted that not all shipping lines impose ECRS. – Roumina Pablo

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