Tuesday, July 22, 2014

PASA explains delays in balikbayan box deliveries

LOS ANGELES – In recent weeks, the delivery of balikbayan boxes to the Philippines has been encountering long delays, prompting the Pilipino American Shippers Association to reach out to tens of thousands of customers to explain the delays.

Joel P. Longares, one of the founders of PASA, an organization of balikbayan box forwarders in the United States, said the delivery of balikbayan boxes are experiencing from three to six week delays because of at least three reasons.

The first, Longares said, is the mandatory physical inspection of all balikbayan boxes by the Department of Homeland Security in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and other ports in the US. He said before the inspection was random with only those that show signs of suspicious cargo during the X-ray screening sent for physical inspection.

“Now, it has become mandatory for all containers leaving the US ports,” said Longares, who is president and CEO of Atlas Shippers International, one of the biggest balikbayan box forwarders in the US. “When a container is subjected to DHS inspection, it takes another two to three weeks before it can finally be loaded for shipping.”

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