The congestion at the port of Manila has been resolved and port operations have been completely normalized, the Philippines’ Office of the Labour Cabinet said today in a statement.
As informed, both the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) show improved efficiency as berthing schedules are being met promptly.
“Over the past three weeks, the ships with berthing schedules were accommodated accordingly. For ships that arrive unscheduled, they were able to dock within 24 to 60 hours from arrival. Since November 2014, more cargo has been moved at a faster rate than prior to the congestion. By February 2015, the benefits of a fully-decongested port is in place,” the statement further read.
Philippine cargo volume went up 5% in 2014 despite the congestion.
Latest data from Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) showed that volume rose about 5% to 211.20 million metric tons (MMT) for the entire 2014 period from 201.91 MMT posted in the same period last year.
PPA said that international cargo throughput posted an increase at 7.45% to 133.29 MMT from 124.05 MMT in 2013 wherein import volume soared by 11.29% to 67.56 MMT, while export volume inched up by 3.77% to 65.73 MMT from 63.34 MMT in 2013.
PPA attributed the increase to the large exportation of river sand, magnetite sand, crude minerals, nickel ore, limestone ore, clinker and slag and coconut oil and copra, fruits and fish as well as the sizeable importation of fuel, coal, grains and fertilizers.
“Coordinated efforts from various government agencies and the private sector cushioned the adverse effect of the truck ban imposed in Manila starting February 2014,” PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said. “Despite the ban, the volume of containers in the Manila ports, composed of the Manila South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal, still managed to post a modest increase.”
Passenger traffic for 2014 reached 55.87 million, a favorable improvement of 4.39% over the previous year’s 53.52 million passenger volume.
“The resolution of the congestion at the port of Manila was a long process, which was complicated by many factors such as ship scheduling, loaded and empty container handling and the truck ban hours. Although most of the solutions were implemented early in the last quarter of 2014, the sheer volume of the backlog needed several months to be resolved,” the Cabinet said.
World Maritime News Staff