The Port of Manila decongested its yard space by removing some overstaying containers said a port representative.
The collaborative synergy between Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI), port authorities and international shipping lines has yielded positive gains in significantly freeing up yard space and further easing cargo flows at the international gateway port Manila South Harbor.
As of March 4, yard utilization at Manila South Harbor has reached optimal levels at 65 percent from high 90s in preceding weeks, owing largely to concrete steps taken by its stakeholders, the cooperation of importers and 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.
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.
Even the fire that hit BOC’s headquarters last February 22 failed to dampen cargo transactions at the Port of Manila, with the immediate set-up of operational satellite offices within the port zone. In the final week of February, over 14,000 teus of laden boxes were delivered to customers, a record-high for Manila South Harbor.
In related developments, 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 are eyed for transfer as soon as BOC processes are 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.