Batangas port congestion ‘as bad as Manila’

Manila: Congestion at the Port of Batangas is now almost as bad as at Manila container terminals, according to the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

“The Batangas Port is now exhibiting the same signs as that of the MICT [Manila International Container Port] and the ATI [Asian Terminals],” Michael Raeuber, ECCP President, said at a news briefing today. “Capacity utilisation is now at 90%, which is the same level as Manila ports.”

The problem stems from lack of proper coordination between the national and local governments, the ECCP said, resulting in the clogging of both ports and roads.

As a result of road congestion at Batangas, truck productivity has fallen from 25 movements per month to 13 to 15 movements, after having hit a low of 10 to 12 movements. Demand for trucks has increased from 8,000 to as many as 20,000 units to deliver the same number of container vans.

The ECCP said that shippers hesitated to use the Port of Subic due to the significant ocean freight cost, although reports this week confirmed that Japan’s NYK Line is seriously thinking of establishing a Subic-Singapore route.

Raeuber said that congested supply chains in the Philippines could disrupt deliveries in the run up to the Christmas season, “if the root causes for the port congestion and the resulting cost increases and delays in moving suppliers are not recognised and addressed”.

“We expect a lot of cargoes arriving within the next two to three weeks. We’ll feel the impact in eight weeks. If we can hurdle this, we gather there’s hope for Christmas to be merry and all,” he told reporters.

ECCP, along with truckers and exporters, has called on the national government to take action. [15/10/14]
 

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