Also in the Philippines the government placed half the country under an “enhanced community quarantine” in an effort to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The region of the capital Manila has effectively been locked down, with an impact on the logistics of the country.

In an “urgent appeal to cargo owners” – a letter issued dd 27 March 2020 – the terminal operator ICTSI at Manila explains the current difficult situation in detail. In only two weeks time the number of containers on quay almost doubled. A high number of importers don’t gate out the containers because of the lockdown.
The terminal operator indicates that they “will come to a point when efficient operations will no longer be possible” and request from consignees to “withdraw reefers immediately”.

The situation is critical and may affect operations at Manila port in the very short term. If containers on terminal keep increasing, terminals might not be able anymore to unload the arriving vessels.
Shipping line MAERSK informed us that they “cannot discharge reefers unless customer will do immediate pickup/direct to truck”. They want to impose a congestion fee “to recover the extra costs incurred”.

CMA CGM warned that if situation worsens they may require to make temporary storage arrangements. In a statement to customers the shipping line said that “due to recent developments in Manila, terminal operations and pick-up of inbound containers has been slow. Consequently, the yards in Manila are reaching full capacity, and most reefer plugs are already being occupied." This means that they will probably stop containers in transshipment ports and only ship on feeders to Manila port once they confirm that vessels will be discharged: “this may involve diverting your cargo to another port location for interim storage”. All related costs will be on merchant’s account.
Carrier YANG MING already announced a booking stop to Manila last Friday: “we are forced to cancel all new bookings for export to the Philippines”.

The situation is similar to the situation in Shanghai a few weeks ago and thus immediate action is required to avoid ‘blocked’ containers and huge extra costs.

Please contact our colleagues at Shipex for more information.