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Trade denies Port of Manila suffering from yard congestion

The Trade Department said Thursday there is no yard congestion in the Port of Manila.

“We need to clear this issue because perceived [yard] congestion may cause companies to delay their shipments, and consequently may result in lower supply of goods and higher inflation,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said, after he met with Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña Tuesday.

Lopez said the line of trucks that gave the impression of yard congestion was caused by the policy of port operators to limit the entry of empty container vans.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
“The space for empty containers is already fully utilized and allowing more may eat up the space for filled containers. Customs is already increasing their capacity via inland container depots in Laguna and other areas to solve this issue. But rest assured that there is no delay in transporting shipments to and from the port,” he said.

Port of Manila District Collector Erastus Austria updated the important metrics in measuring the utilization level of a port: quay crane productivity, import dwell time and the overall yard utilization level.

He said the international standard for quay crane productivity was 25 moves per hour. To declare port congestion, the import dwell time should be 10 days or more. 

He said that the metrics for the first three quarters of 2018 were well within international standards. Quay crane productivity was 24.84 moves per hour, import dwell time was7 days, while yard utilization level was only 85 percent.

“This is in contrast to the 2014 port congestion, when crane productivity was only 15 moves per hour, the import dwell time was 17 to 18 days, and the port utilization was at 96 percent,” Austria said.

The Bureau of Customs expressed its commitment to prioritize imported agriculture products, in accordance to tPresident Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order 13 that streamlines the importation of agricultural products to ease inflation.

Topics: Department of Trade and Industry , Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez , Port of Manila , yard congestion
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