Congestion at Philippine ports chokes chemical imports

04 March 2014 06:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Delivery of chemical imports into the Philippines is being delayed by congestions at the Port of Manila (POM) and at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) since last week,  industry sources said on Tuesday.

The port congestion was blamed on the proposed day-time ban on trucks in the Philippine capital that sparked protests by truckers on 24-26 February, they said.

“Nothing has been coming in since the congestion,” a local converter said, referring to resin imports, raising concerns that this might lead to higher prices of the product.

The country’s resins stocks are expected to tighten further in the next few weeks, he said.

The Philippine Port Authority (PPA) is working towards normalizing port operations within the week, a source close to the port operator said.

“They [PPA] are clearing all the backlogs of containers, but they can’t estimate the size of the backlog so they can’t give a definite time as to when everything will normalize,” he said.

The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BoC) has extended its regular port operating hours up to 21:00 Manila late last week for backlog clearing operations.

Manila implemented the truck ban in anticipation of heavy traffic because of two major road construction projects that were launched about two weeks ago, according to news daily The Philippine Star.

Under the original plan, the government will impose the ban on 28 February, when only cargo-laden trucks will be allowed to travel in certain city roads between 10:00 Manila time (02:00 GMT) to 15:00 under the original plan, according to news daily The Philippine Star.

But the truckers’ protests prior to implementation caused Manila city officials to relent and agree to a temporary concession - trucks and other vehicles with a gross weight of more than 4,500 kilos will be allowed transit during the specified time period of the ban over the next six months.

Local truckers groups like the Alliance of Concerned Truck Operators and Organizations (ACTOO) have expressed willingness to comply with the government’s order.

But others, like the Integrated North Harbour Truckers Association (INHTA) warned of further protests if the ban is not lifted.

By: Arianne Perez
+65 6780 4327

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