Motorists and commuters who travel through the Port of Manila will be pleased to know that, according to Malacañang Palace, the traffic mess caused by the congested ports has now been resolved.
"With the combined efforts of the Cabinet Cluster on Port Decongestion, the technical working group of various agencies, and the cooperation from the private sector, operations at the Port of Manila have been completely normalized and congestion has been resolved," said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.
According to the secretary, the enhanced truck ban hours and the addition of several routes have helped improve the flow of cargo "without causing traffic congestion." Almendras added that while the solutions to decongest the port were implemented in the last quarter of 2014, the sheer volume of the port's backlog coupled with the long Christmas holidays, the passage of typhoon 'Amang', the Feast of the Black Nazarene and Pope Francis’s visit, "all constricted the movements and extended the period of resolution."
Here is the entirety of Secretary Almendras's statement (in italics):
We are pleased to report that, with the combined efforts of the Cabinet Cluster on Port Decongestion, the technical working group of various agencies, and the cooperation from the private sector, operations at the Port of Manila have been completely normalized and congestion has been resolved.
Over the past three weeks, the ships with berthing schedules were accommodated accordingly. For ships that arrived unscheduled, they were able to dock within 24 to 60 hours from arrival. Since November 2014, more cargo has been moved at a faster rate than prior to the congestion. By February 2015, the benefits of a fully decongested port were in place.
From a high of 105% utilization rate during the height of the truck ban in May 2014, to the present 79-84% utilization rates, both the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) show improved efficiency, as ports are maximized to facilitate the flow of trade and cargo.
The resolution of the congestion at the Port of Manila was a long process, which was complicated by many factors such as ship scheduling, loaded and empty container handling, and the truck ban hours. Although most of the solutions were implemented early in the last quarter of 2014, the sheer volume of the backlog needed several months to be resolved. The long Christmas holidays, Typhoon Amang, the feast of the Black Nazarene and the Pope’s visit all constricted the movements and extended the period of resolution.
There was a time that the ports and all the container yards were flooded with empty containers. As of the end of February 2015, this is no longer the situation.
The enhanced truck ban hours and routes have ensured efficient flow of cargo without causing traffic congestion. We would like to thank the Metro Manila Development Authority, all the local government units, government agencies and stakeholders involved for their cooperation and support, and for uniting to resolve this problem and bring it to this successful close.
Photo from Theurbanhistorian via Wikimedia Commons