Customs to shipping lines: open up yard for empty containers

Published November 20, 2018, 4:56 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Betheena Unite

Shipping companies have been directed to open up container yards that will be utilized as depot for empty containers amid clamor from truckers over port congestion.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said on Monday he had required shipping lines to open up container yards for empty containers. He also directed the transfer of empty containers to inland container yards.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero (BOC / MANILA BULLETIN)
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero

He said that during the time of former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, “there were talks about solution on the congestion caused by empty containers.”

One of these was the measure to limit the allowable stay of the containers inside the yard from 120 days to 90 days to free up space on the port container yards.

In October this year, when confronted with port congestion at the Manila International Container Port, Lapeña approved two container yard outside Metro Manila which can already be utilized to deposit empty containers.

The approved container yards were the Pacific Road Link Company in Angat, Bulacan and Laguna Gateway.

As a group of truckers and customs brokers started a six-day protest Monday against the plan of the government to phase out aging trucks and to demand solutions on the port congestion, Guerrero appealed to them to talk things over.

He assured the truckers they have been coordinating with other concerned agencies to provide measures to decongest the ports.

“Ako’y nanawagan sa mga nag-truck holiday palagay ko mapag-uusapan naman natin ‘yun. Kami sa BOC, we are coordinating with the DOTr and other agencies para maayos ang problema sa port congestion (I’m appealing to those who are participating in the truck holiday, I think we can talk about this. We, in the Bureau of Customs, are already coordinating with the Department of Transportation and other agencies to fix the problem on port congestion,” Guerrero said when sought for reaction.

“We are doing necessary coordination with shipping lines, with the ports. There are measures that I could implement to alleviate the condition of port congestion. We are already doing it,” he added.