With various truck bans in effect in Cebu, truckers are having difficulty fulfilling deliveries and exporters forced to take “a lot of added steps” to move shipments
Queued truckers are still being apprehended by traffic enforcers, who claim trucks are parked illegally
Pullout of import containers and return of empty containers at Cebu port can only be done from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines has met with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to forward truckers’ concerns
As various truck bans continue to limit truck movements in Cebu, truckers are having difficulty fulfilling deliveries while exporters are constrained to take “a lot of added steps” to move their shipments, according to a Cebu Truckers Association, Inc. (CTAI) official.
Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) locators are “already suffering” from fulfilling their just-in-time deliveries and “a lot of added steps had to be taken and adjusted because of the truck ban,” CTAI president Gabriel Cruz said in a recent webinar hosted by the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP)-Visayas.
Both pullout of import containers and return of empty containers at the Cebu port can only be done from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“For a container to be picked up at the port we have to return first the container to the container yard to free up the trailers in order to pick up an import cargo. So now there is no traffic but unfortunately in the evenings you will see a long line of trucks queuing to be able to lift off the containers from their chassis,” Cruz pointed out.
Cruz said traffic officers are still apprehending trucks queued up to go to the port, claiming they are illegally parked even though the truck drivers had not left their vehicles.
“Other than the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. regular truck ban, there is also a 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. truck ban and another 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. truck ban, so it seems there is really a lack of understanding of our government in the supply chain,” Cruz lamented.
He said the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, of which CTAI is a member, has met with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to forward truckers’ concerns. MEPZ is an economic zone under PEZA.
Cruz shared that the city government of Mandaue, which is the bottleneck going to Cebu International Port (CIP), agreed a few years ago with truckers and did not implement a truck ban as it wasn’t really the trucks causing traffic.
He noted that Mandaue City instead implemented a trucking corridor, wherein trucks ply in a single line and can be apprehended if they deviate from it.
Cruz noted that “you won’t see our trucks on the roads unless it’s our customers that require us.”
SCMAP president Pierre Carlo Curay, during the same webinar, said truck bans are “not beneficial, not only for the logistics industry, supply chain industry, but also for the consumers” as they increase operational costs. He noted that truck bans are only a stopgap solution since trucks do not really cause traffic, noting the rising sales of private vehicles in the past 10 years.
EO No. 2
The Cebu provincial government last January 13 issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2 series of 2021, which implements the truck ban in the municipalities of Consolacion and Liloan from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The order also limits cargo pullout at CIP to just nighttime or from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The only exemption is the pullout from CIP of cargo intended for transfer to domestic baseports and container yards located within the port zone.
According to the EO, the measure was issued because “there is an urgent need to decongest” CIP during peak hours to alleviate heavy traffic in affected areas.”
EO noted that truck and cargo vehicles usually converge at the CIP during the release of their cargoes, clogging roads leading to the pier area and “causing a ripple effect on the traffic situation all the way to the Municipality of Consolacion and the Municipality of Liloan.”
Port stakeholders had anticipated delays once the truck ban and the container pullout schedule were implemented.
Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.-Cebu president Rami Hourani earlier said the new policies would affect exporters as they often engage in both import and export.
Hourani said the new cargo pullout schedule would “definitely affect exporters because they will be forced to allocate more man hours to non-daytime work,” which could lead to increased cost due to night shift differential and overtime pay.
Hourani said that if the cost of doing business for truckers in Cebu went up, naturally, “they would raise their prices.”
“This cost will wind up being passed on to the exporters who are forced to compete globally and may become less competitive as a result,” he noted.
Moreover, the limited container pullout time, coupled with the truck bans, would “most definitely cause an increase [in] yard usage.” – Roumina Pablo