Manila ports fully decongested early next year - PPA

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 16 2014 07:44 AM | Updated as of Dec 16 2014 03:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government is confident of fully decongesting the ports of Manila early next year after successfully reducing yard utilization rate to more than 80 percent.

“The positive performance is a clear indication that the decongestion efforts being imposed in the last couple of months are already paying off. If we can sustain such efforts in the next couple of months, we will hit our target to fully decongest the ports by early next year,” Philippine Ports Authority general manager Juan Sta. Ana said.

According to Sta. Ana the combined yard utilization of Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Manila South Harbor of Asian Terminals Inc. stood at 81 percent or approximately 66,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as of Dec. 12.

MICT has a yard utilization of 84 percent or approximately 42,400 TEUs while the South Harbor has a utilization of 77 percent or approximately 23,800 TEUs.

The Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion has set a yard utilization target of 80 percent or approximately 65,200 TEUs.

Sta. Ana also said the number of vessels at queue was reduced to a combined total of 16 vessels excluding those currently at berth from a high of 30 a couple of weeks ago.

As of Dec. 12, MICT has six vessels at berth with 12 vessels at queue while MSH has four vessels at berth and four vessels at queue.

“Yard utilization has been significantly reduced giving our port operators ample elbow room to maneuver to send out and take in containers compared to the condition a couple of weeks ago. We have likewise significantly reduced vessel queue at the MICT by at least half in the last couple of days,” Sta. Ana said.

According to him, yard utilization level at the ports of Manila went down to 78 percent in end-November but climbed above the 80 percent target level due the holiday season.

Combined container gate outs from the two Manila Ports declined by at least 10 percent to an average of 6,200 TEUs from an average of 7,000 TEUs after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) imposed a total truck ban along Roxas Boulevard last Dec. 3 to give way to the Christmas holidays and the Papal visit set for next month.

“We are making all measures work that is why we are adjusting almost everything. With these, we are banking on the private sector to do their share,” Sta. Ana said.

Read more on The Philippine Star.