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ATI: Cargo flow at South Harbor improved

Thursday, 07 March 2019 | 00:00

The Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) said the collaborative synergy between port authorities and shipping lines to expedite vessel turn-around time by removing empty containers yielded positive results.

ATI said yard utilization at Manila South Harbor has reached optimal levels at 65 percent from high 90s in preceding weeks, brought by concrete steps that were undertaken by stakeholders with the support of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

In mid-February, ATI and major international shipping lines agreed to share vessels and optimize terminal resources to immediately evacuate empty containers from Manila and surrounding areas through Manila South Harbor.

Over the past weeks, the industry has seen high inventory of empty containers, which has hampered normal truck cycles and has adversely impacted port efficiency levels.

“The idea is that after cargo discharge, the vessels docked at the port will load empty containers, regardless of which shipping line owns such container,” ATI executive Vice President William Khoury said.

Doing so will greatly improve the entire container recirculation process, fast track truck turnaround time and ultimately bring port operations to optimum levels.

“Today we have come together as one port community, showing that we are committed to improve trade flows for our customers and for the benefit of the entire economy,” Khoury said.

“We believe this is the right direction to solve the industry-wide problem,” he added.

Since then, CMA-CGM Group, T.S. Lines, Evergreen, Yang Ming Lines, Wan Hai Lines and Hyundai Maritime have fast-tracked the recirculation of empty containers to other Asian destinations, with a commitment of jointly pulling out 10,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) from Manila South Harbor on a weekly basis.

In the final week of February, over 14,000 TEUs of laden boxes were delivered to customers, a record-high for Manila South Harbor.

ATI has transferred over 470 TEUs of overstaying boxed cargoes to its Batangas Port in past weeks, with the approval of BoC. More overstaying cargoes will be transferred as soon as BOC processes were completed.

ATI is currently complementing ongoing port efficiency measures by developing more container yard facilities outside the Port of Manila, which are expected to be operational by the second quarter.

ATI is also expanding the role of its Sta. Mesa container yard to accommodate cleared overstaying laden boxes, in accordance with recent directives of PPA.
Source: Manila Times

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