PHILIPPINE ports will remain open Christmas and New Year due to the traditional influx of Christmas cargoes.
“Philippine ports, particularly our international gateways, will be in full commercial operations except for a couple of hours on Christmas and New Year’s Day because ships continue to come and go even during holidays,” Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said on Friday.
At the same time, Santiago urged cargo owners not to relax in the cargo withdrawals and continue to take advantage of the Truck Appointment and Booking System in order to have a very smooth turnaround time for the country’s foreign cargoes.
“I am urging all cargo owners and other stakeholders to maintain their current operations in order to have a swift turnaround time for their cargoes and if possible send their exports bound for Chinese ports early to prevent any hold-up when celebrations for the Chinese New year kicks in,” Santiago pleaded.
“The domestic ports are also replicating the procedures of the international ports in order to secure safe travel of passengers relative to Oplan Ligtas Biyahe: Christmas 2016 and at the same time guarantee just in time delivery of domestic goods,” he added.
As of the moment, cargo utilization at the two main gateways of the Philippines—the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the Manila South Harbor (MSH)—remain very healthy at 60% or approximately 49,000 twenty-foot equivalent units inside the terminal ready to be withdrawn or exported. Yard productivity at the two ports also remains high with an average of 20-25 moves an hour.
Both terminals attribute the healthy yard utilization and productivity to the Truck Appointment and Booking System as well as the high storage penalty imposed by the Authority.
Cargo volume, on the other hand, is in the uptrend since the start of the 3rd quarter due to the run-up to Christmas by about 10% a month.
PPA has likewise maintained the tight security in the domestic ports since the All Saints Day celebration to ensure safety, security and comfort of passengers while inside the terminals.
“I reiterated to our port personnel to take all the necessary measures to reduce any inconvenience and to make sure that our ports are safe at all times,” Santiago said.
PPA has likewise assured importers, exporters and cargo owners that ports have enough capacity with the coming Chinese New Year wherein Chinese-owned firms shut down operations for a couple of days for the festivities.