Manila port yard utilization remains healthy, ready for Christmas cargoes

MANILA, October 19, 2017—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) guarantees an efficient, congestion-free Manila ports as Christmas cargoes start to come in.

The state-owned agency said that Manila port utilization at the start of the last quarter of the year remains healthy and provide enough space for cargoes intended for the holiday season.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago stressed that productivity of the three Manila Ports, which include the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), the Manila South Harbor (MSH) and the Manila North Port (MNP) continue to be strong and no slowdown is expected even with the Christmas rush.

“As of the moment, the combined yard utilization at the two international Manila ports MICT and MSH is at 60.12% or about 20% below the optimum level of 80%,” Santiago stressed.

“It is also worthy to note that both terminals posted at least a 10% increase in their respective productivity as of end September, suggesting a fully functional Manila ports,” Santiago explained.

“The premier domestic terminal, the MNP, has a yard utilization rate of 43.40%, giving the port enough elbow room for anticipated increase in demand at this point in time,” Santiago added.

“With a combined average quay crane productivity of the three terminals at 26 moves per hour per crane, barring any major development, we can guarantee a congestion-fee Manila ports at any given time,” Santiago said.

The 60.12% utilization rate, meanwhile, represents that some 48,900 containers are inside terminal while 32,600 container slots remain vacant. With container gate-outs almost reaching 8,000 container outs per day, the utilization rate is expected to hover around the 55-60% utilization rate until after the Christmas season.

Even the anticipated tight security measures brought about by the meeting of the ASEAN Heads of States in the middle of November, which is expected to disrupt the vessel and transport delivery movements, is not expected to make a significant dent in congesting the Manila ports.

However, this early, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is advising all cargo owners to plan ahead the withdrawal and deposit of their cargoes to and from the ports to reduce any commercial delays due to the ASEAN event, which is likely to be attended by US President Donald Trump.

Also, the decision of the Bureau of Customs to temporarily shut down its Green Lane operations as well as subjecting majority of imported cargoes to inspection is not expected to disrupt the smooth flow of goods to and from the terminals.

To date, total container volume reached 4.609 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The volume is higher by 8.84% compared to the 4.235 million TEUs handled in the same period last year. About 85% of the total or some 3.917 million TEUs are handled by the Manila ports wherein 2.703 million TEUs are foreign boxes composed of import and export cargoes while 1.905 million TEUs are domestic containers.

This year, the PPA is anticipating a modest increase in cargo volume of about 5-7% after revising a flat growth forecast early this year. The PPA explained that the upward adjustment is brought about by the country’s robust economy.