By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
The Manila and Batangas gateway ports managed by Asian Terminals ,Inc. (ATI) are operating at optimum level, keeping the goods flowing, over a month since the government locked down Luzon.
A week after the Lenten break, berth and yard operations at Manila South Harbor have remained steady, with yard utilization at an optimum level of around 70 percent.
On the other hand, yard utilization at the Batangas Container Terminal has remained its usual 50 percent, with manufacturers and industrial locators, mostly based in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), pulling out cargoes in a regular and timely manner.
While the situation has remained stable, the terminal operator underscored that the ports and logistics community should keep up the pace in inducing cargo movement.
ATI reminded consignees to pull out containers from the terminal at the soonest possible time.
Other players, such as private warehouses, should likewise step-up operations as important linkages in the logistics cycle.
ATI credited the optimum use of ports to the initiatives of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and the support of stakeholders and port communities.
In early April, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Finance (DOF), PPA and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 20-01 which established guidelines for the flow of cargoes from the terminals during the ECQ.
The JAO preempted possible logistics bottlenecks during the ECQ with containers, particularly refrigerated vans, being pulled out slower than usual by cargo owners.
Pursuant to the JAO, overstaying cargoes were transferred to offsite container yards to free-up precious space at the container terminals.
“Government’s early intervention ensured that terminal operations remain unimpeded, so the flow of food, raw materials, medicines, health equipment and other essentials remain unhampered, during this national emergency,” says ATI ex¬ecutive vice president William Khoury.