I had a meeting with Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña last October 9 and he clarified that there is no congestion in the Port of Manila. We need to clear this issue because perceived port congestion may cause companies to delay their shipments, and consequently may result in lower supply of goods and higher inflation.
The line of trucks that gave the impression of port congestion is caused by the policy of port operators to limit the port entry of empty container vans. The space for empty containers is already fully utilized and allowing more may eat up the space for filled containers. The BOC is already increasing their capacity via inland container depots in Laguna and other areas to solve this issue. But rest assured that there is no delay in transporting shipments to and from the port.
Port of Manila District Collector Atty. Erastus Austria presented the important metrics in measuring the utilization level of a port: quay crane productivity (number of containers moved per hour), import dwell time (or the number of days the shipment has been in the port), and the overall yard utilization level.
He said the international standard for quay crane productivity is 25 moves per hour. To declare port congestion, the import dwell time has to be 10 days or more. The metrics for the first three quarters of 2018 are well within international standards. Quay crane productivity is 24.84 moves per hour, import dwell time is 7 days, and yard utilization level is only 85%.
This is in contrast to the 2014 port congestion, when crane productivity was only 15 moves per hour, the import dwell time was 17-18 days, and the port utilization was at 96%.
BOC also expressed its commitment in prioritizing imported agriculture products, in accordance to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Administrative Order 13 that streamlines the importation of agricultural products to ease inflation.
These, of course, can best be explained by the BOC. We invited them in our radio show, Konsyumer Atbp. to give them the opportunity to address the public.♦