MANILA International Container Terminal (MICT) is targeting a 6% increase in container volume this year to about 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), anchored on the continuing surge in imports.
With a capacity of 1.9 million TEUs, MICT handled 1.6 million TEUs in 2011.
The terminal will have an additional 500,000 to 600,000 TEUs annually with the opening of Berth 6 by end of the year, ICTSI operations manager Ian Paradies told delegates of the 6th Philippine Ports and Shipping conference and exhibit during a tour of the terminal last Wednesday.
MICT and South Harbor were plagued with congestion late last year. Paradies said MICT’s container yard utilization rate is, however, now back to a manageable level of 70% compared to the last two months' 100%.
Last Tuesday, the Philippine Ports Authority, Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, MICT operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) and South Harbor operator Asian Terminals, Inc (ATI) met to assess the level of congestion at the ports.
There seems to have been an agreement that the problem is dissipating with carriers shipping out more and more overstaying empty containers.
ICTSI and ATI earlier said they will lease container depots to further lick the congestion problem.
ATI has yet to close a deal involving the lease of a two-hectare land in Sta. Mesa, citing problems with barangay (village) authorities. ICTSI, on the other hand, has already surveyed a three-hectare property south of Manila and found it viable. It is now reportedly negotiating the lease agreement.