PPA ready for import surge

PHOTOGRAPH BY RAFFY AYENG FOR THE DAILY [email protected]_raf PPA general manager Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago gears up for expected port congestion.

Contingencies are in place to cope with the expected surge in import cargoes in the Port of Manila ahead of the Chinese New Year, according to the Philippine Ports Authority.

“We are prepared but let us hope that we will not have severe weather disturbance or any mechanical failure,” PPA general manager, Atty. Jay Daniel Santiago said in a news conference on Monday.

The PPA is also prepared for the influx of cargo as long as operations of the Bureau of Customs, Department of Agriculture, truckers and importers are sound and in place, according to Santiago.

“We are okay so far. It is not important anyway if there are more cargoes coming in. What is important is that more cargoes are going out,” he said.
Port utilization rate, which currently stands at 82 percent, can change in the coming days depending on the diligence of shipping lines and availability of refrigerated containers, the PPA chief added.

In case that number rises, Santiago said the PPA can accommodate excess cargoes in its adjacent yards in Bulacan and Laguna.

“PPA has designated a yard in Bulacan that has a minimum of 10 hectares, expandable to 18 hectares. We also have one in Laguna. Hence, we are willing to accredit and designate yards within the port area because a lot of the concerns of the shipping lines are that they want their cargoes to be placed near the port area,” he said.

Meanwhile, Santiago said international shipping rates are expected to go down as the impact of the pandemic in the country continues to ease.

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