No more congestion: PPA says yard utilization rate for container vans in PH ports improving

Efforts to clear as many container vans in international ports in the country are now paying off with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) saying that it has recorded neither congestion nor backlog so far this year.

In a statement, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago said that in two international ports in Manila alone, they recorded 80.75 yard utilization rate for the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and 67.80 percent at the Manila South Harbor.

Comparing it with the scenario during the Holiday rush in December last year, Santiago said there was indeed a significant improvement.

"As much as possible, we try to accommodate them in PPA terminals, but we cannot accommodate them all, we can only accommodate empty containers x numbers of days before ship out because our terminals will be congested with empty containers more than laden container, or those with commodities inside that are yet to arrive," said Santiago.

In December last year, the PPA has ordered a moratorium on container vans from international shipping line due to congestion in two Manila ports.

Part of the efforts to address congestion is dialogues and pressure on cargo shippers consignees to move out their overstaying container vans.

Despite the improved condition in ports storage areas, container traffic remains high inside ports.

Based on the PPA data as of Jan. 31, there are still about 7,765 containers/ 12480.75 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) long overstaying in MICT compared to 12,919 containers or 20,990 TEUs last December 2022.

Meanwhile, Santiago believes that the outlook for 2023 is good, with more projects coming up soon and with the consistent appeal to pull out the overstaying cargoes to make the needed space in the ports.

“We’re still optimistic, we are looking at a 7-8% growth this year as far as cargo traffic is concerned," said Santiago.

"As you know, we are a consumption economy so even if a lot of other jurisdictions experience some form of recession, our country continues on consuming and as our population grows, consumption will eventually get higher and higher," he added.