75,000 shipping containers unclaimed at Manila ports

By Evelyn Macairan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 05 2014 04:47 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2014 12:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - At least 75,000 shipping containers have yet to be claimed at the Manila International Container Port and the Port of Manila, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said yesterday.

These containers have been cleared for release by the BOC but they have not been picked up by the trucking companies hired by the importers, BOC commissioner John Sevilla said.

“Normally 5,000 container vans are moved (out of the port) every day. But how many move on Sundays? Only about 500,” he said, adding that the BOC is open seven days a week to process documents but hardly anyone brings out shipments on Sundays.

Sevilla said another reason for the congestion at the two ports are empty shipping containers.

The Philippine Ports Authority announced that international carriers have started sending sweepers to take their empty containers from the two ports. The target is to remove most of the containers by Aug. 15.

Sweepers are vessels sent by international carriers for a specific purpose – in this case it is to remove empty containers at the ports of Manila to a specific destination at the expense of the shipping lines.