Home » Maritime » Ancillary fees worry local shipping lines

LOCAL carriers are unhappy over ancillary fees such arrastre and storage that will be passed on to them when the North Harbor operator Manila North Harbor Port, Inc (MNHPI) formally takes over the port on January 15.

“While we acknowledge that port charges will be significantly reduced by some 8-10% once the new operator comes in, we are very much worried with the ancillary costs as most of these fees usually shouldered by shippers are now going to be levied on shipping lines,” a ranking Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) official who requested anonymity said.

“Based on our computation, the increase in ancillary fees would be higher than the expected reduction of port charges come January 15.”

A meeting with MNHPI representatives is being worked out to address the issue.

MNHPI, the company formed by joint venture partners Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc and Metro Pacific Investment Corp, promised to look into the matter and make the necessary changes if warranted.

The new North Harbor operator has promised no abrupt changes in port systems without proper consultation with stakeholders.

One of the major projects of MNHPI this year is the paving of Terminal 1 and the installation of a new quay crane.

Construction is expected to commence immediately after the port takeover and completion is in about a year.

MNHPI will sink in P11 billion in the next six years, including P6.8 billion for payment to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) as its share from port operations for the duration of the contract.

Within the period, MNHPI is committed to bringing in eight quay cranes from Mitsubishi Japan (the first two to be installed in the first two years of the contract), 16 rubber-tired gantry cranes, mobile cranes and other cargo-handling equipment.

MNHPI is following closely the original modernization plan of the PPA. It will upgrade the port in stages, starting with Terminal 1 (designed to handle containerized cargo), followed by Terminal 2 (bulk and other loose cargoes) and then Terminal 3 (passengers and roll on-roll off cargoes).

In the first three years, the new North Harbor is seen to breach the 1 million-TEU mark from only 800,000 TEUs annually in domestic trade and handle about 2.5 million passengers annually, more than half its current capacity.

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