By Betheena Unite
More than 400 overstaying containers at the Manila International Container Port have been opened and inspected, the port’s top official said Wednesday.
District Collector Erastus Sandino Austria said that they have finished the physical examination of 412, or 37 percent, of about 1,100 overstaying containers identified for physical examination at the port.
A prompt action to conduct a 100-percent physical examination on the overstaying containers was ordered to address the looming issue of port congestion and to ease yard utilization.
Austria said that these inspections are done to determine if its contents may be of any value which can be auctioned or otherwise be disposed of in accordance with law.
“Average allowed capacity for empties in the terminal is 10,000. January weekly evacuation of empties was only 2,000. Now, week average evacuation or those being loaded to ships is in the excess of 10,000,” the official added.
According to him, the port’s weekly evacuation target is 17,500 empty twenty-feet units based on the commitment of shipping lines.
“This is why MICP’s yard utilization has dropped from 97 percent in January to 75 percent today. Import dwell time has been reduced from 12-13 days in January to seven days today. Numbers are continuing to drop,” he furthered.
Through the expedited inspection of overstaying containers, the port can dispose and auction off shipments faster, Austria noted.
It was disclosed that the port has coordinated with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. to allocate enough slots during regular examination schedules for inspection of overstaying containers at the designated examination area. During Saturdays, all slots are dedicated to examining these containers.
Manpower of the Auction and Cargo Disposal Division was augmented by tasking examiners from the Port’s Formal Entry Division to inspect overstaying containers.
Over the next months, Austria said, the port will continue examining more overstaying containers. They are expecting to finish inspecting all the 1,100 containers in less than two months.
Further, the Overstaying Containers Oversight Committee of the port has been closely monitoring, in real time, the status of shipments which remain unfiled, unpaid, and unclaimed within the periods specified under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the district collector said.