Home » 3PL/4PL, Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Exclusives, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Over 10,000 boxes need to be discharged daily to declog Manila ports by yearend

container_stackerFrom this week until December 31, a total of 10,547 containers should be moved out of the two Manila ports daily to once and for all obliterate by yearend the container backlog spawned by the Manila truck ban.

This was the projection of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Commercial Service Department manager Emma Suzara at the August 26 public hearing on proposed higher storage charges for overstaying containers. It was based on the following assumptions: that the truck and the express trade lanes will stay; a truck turnaround of 2.5 days to three days; and the start of the peak shipping season beginning September.

PortCalls sources described the 10,000+ daily requirement as an “extremely tall order”. At the rate containers are being cleared out of Manila ports, they said it would take double the effort of all stakeholders to effectively say goodbye to port congestion by yearend.

Before the Manila truck ban, blamed by many sectors as the key cause of port congestion, an average of 5,000 containers were discharged at Manila ports daily.

During the first three months of the truck ban (from Feb 24 to end May), only 3,700 boxes were withdrawn daily, leaving behind 85,800 containers of backlog during the period.

When the express trade lane for trucks was introduced in June, daily pullouts inched up to 4,200 boxes, but still not enough to significantly lick the congestion.

As containers piled up at Manila ports, so did 20,000 containers at the ports of Hong Kong, Kaohsiung and Singapore from February to June. Sources said that these containers are now being progressively shipped to Manila.

To further ease port congestion, PPA’s Suzara said there is a need to bring back truck turnaround to 1.5 days from the current three days.

Alliance of Truck Owners and Organizations director Jerwin Dumanog told PortCalls the solution to the slow truck turnaround is lifting of the truck ban and/or inclusion of old truck routes excluded from the designated express trade lanes.– Roumina Pablo

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