United Portusers Confederation of the Philippines endorsed Container Ledger Account Phils and urged shipping lines to use the online Container Ledger Account for container deposit refunds
CLA offers an alternative and voluntary solution to simplify container deposit management between shipping lines and consignees/agents
The United Portusers Confederation of the Philippines, Inc. (UPC) endorsed Container Ledger Account Phils., Inc. (CLAP) and urged shipping lines to utilize the online system, Container Ledger Account (CLA), to simplify and speed up container deposit refunds.
In a statement, UPC emphasized the timeliness of its endorsement, as the maritime sector “desperately seeks innovative solutions to streamline operations, reduce bureaucracy, and enhance customer service.”
UPC noted container deposits have long been a source of contention and inefficiency within the industry, often resulting in disputes between stakeholders and international shipping lines.
The CLAP system is “relatively affordable and has simplified and expedited the container deposit and refund process, ensuring that port users enjoy a hassle-free experience,” UPC president Nelson Mendoza said.
He said CLAP services not only promote efficiency but also elevate competitiveness of the logistics industry in the Philippines. He urged international shipping lines to fully utilize what CLAP has to offer.
CLAP welcomed UPC’s endorsement and likewise invited other shipping lines to use the CLA.
UPC highlighted CLA as ensuring tamper-proof and easily traceable transactions, reducing the likelihood of disputes and errors. Moreover, CLA’s user-friendly platform allows port users to monitor their deposit status in real-time, offering transparency, the association said.
CLA serves as an alternative and voluntary solution to simplify container deposit management between the shipping line and consignee/agent. The system began pilot-testing in the Philippines in December 2021 and received endorsements from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Trade and Industry.
The DOTr and the DTI urged members of the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), which comprises 36 global container liners serving Philippine ports, to join CLA as an alternative to address the longstanding issue of container deposits.
AISL had tapped Malaysia-based D&D Control (M) Sdn Bhd to offer an alternative solution to the longstanding issue on return of container deposits in the Philippines.
CLA has been implemented since 2018 in Malaysia, addressing similar challenges with container deposit returns.
In the Philippines, D&D established CLAP, with 20 shipping lines and 559 consignees, freight forwarders, customs brokers, container freight stations, and warehouse operators currently subscribed to CLA.
CLA offers the option to manage container deposits online or replace the deposit with a one-time security payment. Users can apply the security amount to all their containers, regardless of the shipping line.
In the first half of 2023, CLA handled 5,587 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a significant improvement from the 742 TEUs processed during the same period last year.
CLAP reported the current average refund time for CLA is less than three days upon the shipping lines’ approval.