Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), the flagship operation of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), is gearing up for the coming peak season with imports starting to arrive ahead of the holiday season.
With volume is expected to surge MICT is preparing to avoid a repeat of past congestion issues such as the 2014 port congestion problem.
Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI senior vice president and head of Asia Pacific region and MICT said “Port congestion is a challenge every major and busy port in the world has to contend with.
“We resolved the issue by putting in place new technologies that would not only upgrade the terminal, but would make MICT a sustainable business factoring in the quality of life of our hinterland communities and immediate environs.”
The problems in 2014 has since been addressed by the adoption of the online booking system, increased city regulations, recent clearing of roads surrounding the port, and the opening of the service roads of a major thoroughfare, Roxas Boulveard, to truck traffic.
As of May, yard utilisation at the MICT remained at 61%, below the 70% ideal percentage. During the same month, average crane productivity hovered at 32 moves per hour despite the uptick in container volume.
“Global container traffic is slowly recovering… I am confident that we will be able to keep up with the pace and accommodate the projected increase,” said Gonzalez.
Completion of yard 7, it is hoped, will improve terminal utilisation this peak season as it has increased the terminal’s capacity by 18% from 2.5m teu to 2.75m teu.
In 2016, MICT handled 2m teu for the first time triggering a multi-billion peso capacity improvement commitment with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) that requires ICTSI to commission five neo-Panamax quay cranes, 12 reach stackers, and build two new berths by 2020.