As Manila faces up to its worst port congestion crisis since the crippling box crunch of 2014, stakeholders including terminal operators and the Bureau of Customs have proposed to put up shared depots for empty containers outside the capital.
The concerned parties have asked the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to allot space for such depots, ideally situated near industrial zones. Other empty containers could be moved to other ports on Luzon, the island where Manila is located, including in Batangas and Subic Bay.
Customs officials are also looking to crack down on anyone leaving empty containers at the port for more than 90 days.
Last week Splash reported Asian Terminals Inc (ATI), one of two port operators at the port, had tapped six liners to help alleviate the crunch at Manila South Harbor. ATI has said it is working with CMA CGM, TS Lines, Evergreen, Yang Ming and HMM to take more than 10,000 empty containers from the port for recirculation to Asian destinations in the coming weeks.
Congestion at the country’s top port has been a regular problem. On January 23 this year, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd announced it was stopping taking all reefer cargo to Manila, for both North and South Harbor.
“The decision is made due to terminal congestions at Manila port as well as limited trucking capacity,” Hapag-Lloyd stated in a notice to clients.