RAZON-led International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Friday appealed to its consignees to withdraw their reefers immediately.

“We have now come to a point where it is becoming impossible to operate in an efficient manner. On March 14, there were 22, 043 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of imports in the terminal. Today, there are 36,793 TEUs. Containers are simply not being removed from the terminal,” ICTSI said in its letter to consignees, shippers, and brokers or processors dated March 27.

It added: “We understand that it is unfeasible for some, and many businesses have been temporarily shutdown, but without the full support of everyone that is able to open, we will come to a point when efficient operations will no longer be possible.”

It also noted that from March 1 to March 26, there were 8,201 cleared containers sitting in the terminal. Most of these contain food.

ICTSI offered an option for businesses that are unable to take delivery at their own facilities.

“Please utilize our offsite facilities in Laguna, Bulacan, or Cavite. Special accommodations are available for anyone who utilizes these facilities,” it said.

The Transportation department said ICTSI has also appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to facilitate the immediate approval of transfer or condemnation of a number of items through the Bureau of Customs.

These include 7,000+ TEUs overstaying in the yard for more than 30 days and 5,400+ TEUs uncleared overstaying boxes.

It also said all cleared boxes that are more than 30-days old should have approvals facilitated for the transfer to external facilities without delay. — Arjay L. Balinbin