THE PHILIPPINE Ports Authority (PPA) is asking exporters and importers to make the necessary adjustments for delays caused by port closures in China.
Ningbo port, one of the largest in the world, is partially closed after a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case was detected there, worsening congestion in several Chinese ports as ships divert from Ningbo.
“Preparation is key to reduce the negative impact of the delays in their overall daily operations,” the PPA said.
The PPA noted that other major ports in the region have also reported congestion issues.
The congestion issues add to the current backlog in international trade. The global shipping industry has been facing a shortage of vessel space during the pandemic, pushing freight rates higher and delaying goods shipments.
“We need to prepare. Eventually, the delays in cargo shipments will catch up with us due to the congestion being experienced in these transshipment ports,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said.
“We are encouraging all importers and exporters to take the necessary steps to adjust and secure their operations to mitigate the impact of the slowdowns or partial closures of the big ports in their overall operations.”
PPA noted that major Philippine ports are not congested as they are operating below the utilization threshold of 75%. Manila ports that handle 85% of the country’s foreign trade volume are operating as normal, the PPA added.
“PPA assures the shippers that Philippine ports can handle the bulk of the delayed shipments when conditions at the transshipment ports start to normalize,” Mr. Santiago said. — Jenina P. Ibañez