Congestion Strikes Intra-Asian Ports
Carries’ schedules and delivery times have been hit hard by congestion issues that have emerged in Intra-Asian ports as well.
According to Singapore-based trade specialist MCC Transport, as of September 23rd, Hong Kong, Manilla North and Batangas have been congested.
Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association (HKCTOA) and the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association (HKLSA) urged the Hong Kong Government to address the congestion problems “that have already reached a critical stage.”
The container shipping lines and container terminal operators are asking for the government to act quickly in order to provide additional land for container handling facilities adjacent to existing ship berths.
Among concrete recommendations highlighted in HKCTOA’s White Paper are: optimisation of use of the existing land sites adjacent to the port for container storage and construction of additional barge berths.
In addition, one of the issues that needs urgent addressing is the shortage of truck drivers at the port, as 59% of the existing ones are nearing retirement age, according to Jessie Chung, Chairperson of the HKCTOA.
The average waiting time in Port of Hong Kong is 1-3 days, whereas in Batangas the waiting time is 2-3 days for on-time vessels and 4–7 days for vessels off proforma.
The longest waiting time is in North Manilla with average 5-7 days for on-time vessels and 7–10 days for vessels off proforma.
The Port of Manilla is not expected to restore to normal operation by mid-2015 despite efforts to unclog the port, including the most recent lifting of the truck ban that caused the congestion in the first place.
Congestion has affected operations in ports of Incheon in Korea, Qingdao and Shanghai in China, and Cat Lai in Vietnam.