By Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio, Reporter
CARGO left unclaimed at port terminals beyond 30 days will be transferred to the port operators’ inland container yards at the expense of the consignees beginning Sunday.
This is part of efforts by the government, together with private port operators International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc (ATI), to facilitate faster cargo movement and reduce congestion in port areas.
“We realized that by moving those overstaying cargoes out, bumilis ang pullout (Pullout has been faster). Gumanda ang [yard] utilization, talagang nagkakaaberya sa atin is really those cargoes that have been cleared which are not pulled out by the consignees (Yard utilization has improved. Cargoes that have been cleared which are not pulled out by the consignees are really in the way),” Jay Daniel R. Santiago, General Manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), told reporters in Manila on Friday.
The PPA, together with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Bureau of Customs (BoC), signed a manifesto with ICTSI, ATI, and the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) to improve port efficiency.
Stated in the manifesto is that ICSTI and ATI should provide information to the government regarding containers which have stayed for at least 30 days at the port, from the arrival date.
“ATI and ICTSI shall transfer to their respective Inland Container Depots any containers that have already been cleared by the BIC, but were not removed from the port by cargo owners, shippers, consignees, logistics operators and customs brokers within 30 days from arrival,” the manifesto read in part.
“International shipping lines have the obligation to promptly evacuate containers from the Philippines within the period prescribed by the BOC, either by their regular call vessels or by sweeper vessels and the BOC shall regularly dispose of seized or abandoned containers to ensure that MICT (Manila International Container Terminal and SH (South Harbor) remain healthy.”
“The inflow of traffic will be dependent on our trade activity, it will depend on that but so far, as efficiency and productivity are concerned, we will be able to improve the productivity of our terminals because we will be able to move cargoes faster…The reason you have which contributes to nill waiting time is they can come in, they can unload then they can move out,” Mr. Santiago said.
“We hope that the consignees pull them out immediately. They really have to pull them out. If they don’t pull them out, we will move them,” he added.
“The terminal operators, ICTSI and ATI, have their own inland container yards in Laguna. We will expand the capacity of the terminal in those container yards. We will move the cargoes there where they would be pulled out. Those who do not pull out their cargoes here [in Manila] shall pull them out from Laguna at their cost. It is advisable that if you have cargoes then, pull them out now.”
“The day after tomorrow, you will start seeing trucks from South Harbor and MICT, those overstaying cargoes down to Laguna.”