Home » 3PL/4PL, Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Higher storage fees for overstaying boxes in PH on hold

containersThe implementation of proposed higher storage rates for overstaying Customs-cleared containers has been held in abeyance pending further consultation with the private sector.

At an August 26 public hearing called by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), transport stakeholders recognized the need to immediately pull out overstaying containers from congested Manila ports but at the same time said implementing higher charges was not a good idea at this time. This is due to less-than-ideal conditions characterized by a shortage of trucks and the difficulty in returning empties to container yards also suffering from overcapacity.

Samson Gabisan, executive vice president of the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc., attributed the truck shortage to operators being picky with the shipping lines they service, avoiding those that take too much time looking for container yards in which to return empty containers.

This situation has not been helped by the fact that while there are newly opened container depots, these are far from Manila apart from also being full, other stakeholders said.

Representatives from the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations said it now takes two weeks for trucks to return empty containers.

Portusers Confederation Inc. director Julita Lopez asked PPA to help stakeholders in asking foreign liners for “more time to return empties”.

The increase in storage rates for overstaying Customs-cleared cargoes is one of the measures proposed by the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion to decongest Manila ports.

PPA has already increased storage charges in January 2014 to “discourage the use of the ports of storage purposes” and to “discipline those importers that are now taking advantage of the port situation”, PPA assistant general manager Raul Santos noted in a letter he submitted to the panel in charge of the public hearing.

However, this “did not deter the importers from using the ports as temporary warehouse facilities,” he pointed out.

“We will hear their (importers’) comments and review their submissions and (they will be) given 15 days from today to September 10 to submit their position papers, (then) we will evaluate,” Atty Nicasio Conti, panel chairman, told PortCalls after the session.

The proposed storage rates from the sixth to 15th day of stay after clearance from the Bureau of Customs and the port operator are as follows: 20-footer, P5,000; 35-footer, P8,750; 40-footer, P10,000; and 45-footer, P11,250.

As of this writing, the number of overstaying Customs-cleared containers with gate pass still at the Manila International Container Port is 2,500 and in the South Harbor, more than 1,000. – Roumina Pablo

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