PPA hopes port 'sweepers' can ease Manila congestion

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2014 08:01 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2014 04:01 AM

MANILA – The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has commissioned 3 Hanjin vessels to collect container vans that have been causing congestion at the Manila ports since February.

According to PPA General Manager Atty. Juan Sta. Ana, they will spend at least P14 million for the port "sweepers," which are expected to clear up to 3,500 containers.

The "sweepers" are expected to deliver the container vans to private off-port depots in Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan.

Sta. Ana Added that it is important that they start easing the congestion in ports immediately because peak season starts in September.

If Manila ports receive an average of 5,000 container vans daily, it receives 6,000 during peak season.

PPA will also propose expanded trade routes to the city of Manila, which aims to add 8 more routes on top of the existing north and south truck routes.

But Sta. Ana admitted that temporarily lifting the truck ban in Manila for 2 to 3 months will greatly help ports during the peak season.

According to Sta. Ana, before the truck ban was implemented last February, ports were able to move out the same number of containers that came in.

During the truck ban, they are only able to move out 3,500 out of 5,000 containers.

Last June, the city of Manila helped improve the port situation by designating a 24/7 lane for trucks.