ATI’s Manila, Batangas ports remain optimal during ECQ

April 22, 2020

The Manila and Batangas gateway ports managed by Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) are operating at optimum level, facilitating the continuous flow of goods in the supply-chain, over a month since the implementation of the Covid-19 Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

ATI attributes this mainly to the decisive policy of key government agencies, the leadership 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 stringent guidelines for the expedient and unhampered flow of cargoes from the terminals during the ECQ.

The JAO has pre-empted 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 are being transferred to offsite container yards to free-up precious space at the container terminals.

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%. Over in Batangas, yard utilization at the Batangas Container Terminal has remained its usual 50%, with manufacturers and industrial locators, mostly based in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), pulling out cargoes in a regular and timely manner.

“We are grateful to PPA, BOC, DTI and DOF as well as the Interagency Task Force for setting the right policy at the onset of the ECQ. Government’s early intervention was critical to ensure that terminal operations remain unimpeded, so that the flow of food, raw materials, medicines, health equipment and other essentials remain unhampered, especially during this time of national emergency,” ATI executive vice president William Khoury said.

“We also thank our dockworkers, our valued customers and other stakeholders for their support and for coming together to ensure that our ports remain upbeat at this critical juncture,” Khoury added.

While the situation has remained stable, the terminal operator underscored that the ports and logistics community should not let up on the positive gains, but rather keep up the pace in inducing cargo movement.

Consignees are reminded to pullout containers from the terminal at the soonest possible time while other players such as private warehouses are encouraged to step-up operations as important linkages in the logistics cycle.

Meanwhile,in related developments, the Bureau of Customs – Port of Manila has ramped up the operations of its X-ray division at Manila South Harbor to further fast track container releases. X-ray examinations now run round-the-clock 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.