ICTSI says Manila terminal operations normal

Posted on March 08, 2016

THE INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) said an ongoing protest of truckers and custom brokers against an online terminal booking system has not adversely affected the operations of the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

Cranes at the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. at the Port of Manila -- AFP
“It is business as usual at International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) flagship operation, the MICT, despite the protest of the Aduana Business Club against the National Government’s plan to fully implement the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS),” the port operator said in a statement yesterday.

The government implemented TABS in the last quarter of 2015 to ensure an orderly flow of trucks on roads, operational predictability and efficiency at the terminal, allowing forward planning on the part of consignees, their brokers and truckers, as well as transparency of transactions by reducing the need for human intervention.

“TABS will minimize road traffic and prevent container buildup, providing real-time information on container status for an organized flow of containerized cargoes in and out of the MICT,” ICTSI said in October last year.

Newspaper reports said the Aduana Business Club is protesting against “excessive fees” and penalties which the new system entails.

The group also announced plans to embark on a one-week work holiday starting March 8 as part of the protest.

ICTSI added that “MICT is operating under normal conditions and there have been no effects in terminal operations from the protest.” It noted that all roads going to and from MICT are “clear and free flowing.”

The company added that those participating in the protest conducted transactions in MICT yesterday with “valid” TABS bookings.

“We expect the same normal conditions to continue tomorrow,” ICTSI said.

The company implemented last year a P1.6-billion expansion program for Manila’s busiest port, hiking its yard capacity by 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from an annual capacity of 2.6 million TEUs.

ICTSI operates 30 container terminals in 20 countries. -- Daphne J. Magturo