Thursday, July 17, 2014

The problems with Manila and Jakarta ports

The port infrastructure in Southeast Asia is not evenly developed and this will be a problem if the much vaunted Asean Economic Community (AEC) is to come into effect by next year as planned.

The two worst affected ports among the major Asean nations are the Port of Manila in the Philippines and Indonesia’s main gateway, the Port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta.

They are lagging the rest of the region for various reasons but the end result, respectively, has been longer turnaround times for ships and longer dwelling times resulting higher logistics costs for shippers. While Manila’s problems seem to be from outside the port, Jakarta’s issues come from within the port infrastructure, or lack thereof.

The Philippines’ main island of Luzon is ostensibly served by two main ports at Batangas to the south of Manila and the main Port of Manila in the heart of the city and the main economic area.

The city of Manila however is notorious for its traffic congestion and the solution devised by the city’s administration has been to extend the hours of a longstanding ban on trucks using the streets. Since earlier this year, container trucks have been banned from using Manila’s streets from 5am to 9pm extending the usual ban which ran only from 5am to 10am and 5pm to 9pm.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) general manager Juan Sta Ana was quoted as saying that the full effect of the truck ban will largely be felt in the second quarter of the year. He claimed that the longer turnaround times at the port have prompted a number of vessels to stop calling with ship calls declining 5% to 82,946 calls compared to 87,321 calls in the previous corresponding period.

Manila’s problem seems to be a lack of understanding or unwillingness to accept the root of the problem. Blame has been put on container trucks from the port for clogging up the streets and the proposed solution has been to divert container volumes to Batangas Port.

Read full article here.....


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