Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Cebu Port leases 1.2 hectares to extend container yard
The lease agreement was signed by (seated, L to R) BOC-Cebu district collector Arnulfo Marcos, CPA general manager Edmund Tan, Oriental Port and Allied Services vice chairman Dennis Mendoza. Witnessing the event were (standing from left) Customs commissioner Alberto Lina, DOTC undersecretary Julianito Bucayan, Jr.,

The lease agreement was signed by (seated, L to R) Bureau of Customs Cebu district collector Arnulfo Marcos, Cebu Port Authority general manager Edmund Tan, Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp vice chairman Dennis Mendoza. Witnessing the event were (standing from left) Customs commissioner Alberto Lina and Transport undersecretary Julianito Bucayan, Jr. Photo from the Cebu Port Authority.

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) has rented a nearby lot to expand yard space for cargoes and clear congestion at the Cebu International Port (CIP).

The CPA signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and cargo handling service provider Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR) on the lease of a 1.2-hectare open space near the terminal as extension of CIP.

The three parties on August 3 signed the MOA on the rental of the area located at the corner of E.S. Baclig Street and 2nd Street, Port Area, Cebu City.

In a statement, CPA said the move answers the “urgent clamor from exporters and other port stakeholders to provide additional yard space for cargoes staying at CIP beyond the mandated free storage period.”

The agreement will also allow the transfer of BOC-seized containers to the rented space to help decongest CIP. CPA general manager Edmund Tan earlier told PortCalls they planned to rent a space where BOC can “store seized/abandoned, or whatever containers that are eating a lot of space in our international port” and to help decongest CIP.

CIP said the three parties are committed to” perform their mandated functions in the facilitation of incoming and outgoing cargoes at the said area, consistent with the functions performed at the main CIP area as far as operational, administrative and security functions are concerned.”

CPA’s Tan, BOC Port of Cebu District Collector Arnulfo Marcos, Dennis Mendoza of OPASCOR signed the agreement.

Present at the signing were Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, and Transport Undersecretary Julianito Bucayan, Jr., members of the CPA Board and management and Cebu Port Commission, and representatives from stakeholders Association of International Shipping Lines, PhilExport-Cebu, Cebu Chamber of Commerce, Philippine International Sea Freight Forwarders Association, and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc.

The port has been experiencing berth and yard congestion since 2014 for a host of reasons, including increased volume and longer container dwell time, limited yard space and backup yard for foreign operations, allocation of CIP yard for domestic use, truck bans and bunching of trucks, and road and port repairs.

Compounding the situation is the surge in alert orders and the longer time for cargo clearance. Moreover, the insufficient space to hold BOC’s seized and abandoned containers adds to higher yard utilization.

Tan earlier said the leased space can also be used later on to store other cargoes if space is still available.

CPA earlier also increased storage rates for foreign cargoes in order to help decongest CIP and discourage cargo owners from using the terminal as a virtual warehouse.

Tan said the higher storage fees, which took effect on March 3, “brought positive results in decongesting CIP.”

As of the morning of August 4, OPASCOR said container yard utilization at CIP was at 67%. – Roumina Pablo

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