The global port management company International Container Terminal Services Inc.(ICTSI) said yard utilization at its Manila port dropped 58 percent in June despite a series of holiday periods and low trucking activity.
The Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), ICTSI flagship, recorded the drop in utilization rates despite recording its all-time highest throughput over a four-month period.
Philippines-headquartered port and terminal operator said that this follows the 70 percent utilization rate recorded in April, down 20 percent from 90 percent in January after private sector partners and the government signed a manifesto last March calling for the efficient utilization of container terminals.
The MICT achieved this drop in utilization rates despite recording its all-time highest throughput over a four-month period.
“The significant efforts in which both the private sector and the Bureau of Customs to release longer-staying imports at the terminal has resulted in lower overall container dwell times allowing us to efficiently utilize the ample capacity to accelerate volume growth,” explains Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI Global Corporate Head.
“We commend the Government for leading the initiative against overstaying containers, and call on stakeholders to embrace these gains by not reverting to the old ways which has been common in previous years when utilization rates drop,” he adds.
The Port of Manila dealt with high utilization rates at the end of last year due to the long-standing problem of overstaying imports coupled with a lack of external empty container capacity, which was further compounded by weather-related vessel delays, holiday peak season, and the import-export imbalance.
In March, Subic Bay International Container Terminal (SBITC) opened a new container depot as part of the collective effort to improve the circulation of empty containers.
Last year, ICTSI commenced its USD80 million capacity improvement project at the Manila International Container in anticipation of increasing demand and productivity requirements over the long term. For the initial phase, ICTSI is building Berths 7 and 8 to accommodate larger ships, which will bring additional volume to the port.
A back up area will also be constructed for future Berths 9 and 10, which will provide the terminal with the flexibility to deal with weather-related issues and changes in regulatory environment.