Low storage costs keep containers in PH

May 20, 2019 at 13:43

Low storage costs keep containers in PH

Roy Stephen C. Canivel | Philippine Daily Inquirer | May 20, 2019

The country’s largest truckers association is putting part of the blame for the lingering congestion at the country’s main ports on low storage costs that have allowed international shipping lines to keep empty containers in the country.

Maria Zapata, director of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines Inc., said shipping lines preferred to store empty containers in the Philippines as it was cheaper than keeping them abroad.

Zapata said storing an empty container in the Philippines could set back a shipping line by just P15 to P30 a day.

“So it is very accessible for them to keep the empty [container] here because the payment is cheap, unlike in other places wherein the storage charges are higher,” she said.

“That’s why [the containers] are stuck here, at the prejudice of the other stakeholders, like truckers,” she added.

Zapata also claimed that shipping lines imposed arbitrary charges—such as for not returning empty containers—even though they do not even have enough space to hold these so-called empties.

“After the container has been emptied, it is the responsibility of the shipping line to provide efficient service to accept the empty and [keep] enough space for the empty [that was] returned. But this is not the case here. They are just busy collecting fees,” she said.

She said that this practice had been going on for several years, but the situation has worsened with the increase in the volume of imports.

She said she was banking on a joint administrative order to address port congestion.

The order, which the Department of Trade and Industry said would come out in February, has not yet been released.

A copy of the order dated Feb. 14, 2019 read that the operations of international shipping lines would be regulated by the Bureau of Customs.

“The main problem here is no government office is regulating the operations of international shipping lines,” Zapata claimed.


Source: https://business.inquirer.net/270880/low-storage-costs-keep-containers-in-ph

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