BOC seeks to avoid port congestion with return of truck ban

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is coordinating with terminal operators and shipping lines on averting the possible congestion of Manila ports now that the truck ban has been re-imposed in Metro Manila.

“To ensure the unhampered delivery of services and avoid possible port congestion, the Bureau is closely coordinating with shipping lines and terminal operators as our proactive role in averting the unlikely event of port congestion,” BOC Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco said in a statement.

Dy Buco added that the Customs Container Control Division of each port has been directed to strictly ensure empty containers are loaded out, while all assessment offices personnel are instructed to immediately process the release of laden containers to prevent pileups at the port.

BOC said it is “optimistic amid the threat of port congestion in the resumption of the truck ban as the agency has been keeping the yard utilization rate within the desired level in alignment with the global standard rate which does not exceed 70%.”

It noted that from December 1 to December 13, average yard utilization at Manila International Container Port was at a manageable level of 75%.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on December 14 reinstated the truck ban on major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, including a total truck ban on Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) from Magallanes to North Avenue. This was made upon the request of Metro Manila mayors to alleviate the heavy traffic in the metropolis this holiday season.

The truck ban was suspended last March to allow the smooth flow of goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BOC noted that “while the reimposition may ease traffic flow in the meantime, this resulted to allegation from a group of truckers contesting that it would lead to different problems such as increased congestion.”

“As it has been long noted that the implementation of truck ban significantly constricts the flow of trade, the public does not only foresee traffic congestion but a repetition of the chaotic port situation that marred the years 2014 and 2018,” BOC stated.

(For the full article, please visit PORTCALLS).

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