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Proposed Cebu container terminal essential for growing trade

Edmund Tan1

With the trade boom in the region, Cebu needs to establish a new container terminal in anticipation of bigger cargo volume and as a long-term solution to congestion at the existing hub, according to the Cebu Port Authority (CPA).

Despite improvements at the Cebu International Port (CIP), “the congestion at the CIP and its road network has become more serious due to increasing cargo volume,” CPA general manager Edmund Tan said during the first Visayas Shipping Conference 2016 recently organized by PortCalls and the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association in Cebu City.

 “For other cargoes, due to the very narrow apron area, congestion during the loading and unloading is much more serious. Therefore, the efficiency of cargo handling decreases and the safety of port operations will become an issue,” the CPA chief noted.

 CIP has been experiencing berth and yard congestion since 2014 due to the increase in volume, high dwell time of containers, limited yard space and back up area, and truck bans. Tan said that although congestion these days is less serious than in 2014 due to some measures that have already been put in place, it could grow worse again come the peak season.

Tan said the proposed New CIP is “expected to provide a lasting solution to… congestion at the existing Cebu port and the shallow water depth of the Cebu international container berths.”

He explained that shipping companies find the depth at the wharf too shallow for efficient and economical international shipping. The international port has a controlling draft of only 9.5 meters at mean low-low water (MLLW), while the draft of the domestic terminal measures only 6.5 meters MLLW.

Study backs call for new hub

A recent feasibility study by the Export-Import Bank of Korea proposed the construction of the new international terminal in Tayud, Consolacion, about eight kilometers from the Cebu base port.

Tan noted that the study, completed in July 2015, validates the findings and recommendations of previous studies suggesting a new Cebu sea hub.

The study was submitted last year to CPA’s mother agency, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), for the secretary to approve and endorse to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Tan said NEDA is currently awaiting from DOTC the requisite documents that will facilitate NEDA Board-Investment Coordination Committee processing and approval.

Had the project been approved last January, Tan said construction would have been scheduled in August 2016. But even as the current administration’s term is ending, Tan said he believes that whoever wins the presidency “will pursue with this project.”

He urged the next administration not to start from scratch again but to take off from what the studies recommend.

The proposal calls for a new international container terminal with a project cost of P9.3 billion, and with features such as an operations building, container freight stations, a customs inspection section, a maintenance factory, and a substation for power supply.


Cebu shipping stakeholders produce draft policy on SOLAS VGM ruling

AGP6The Port of Cebu is almost ready for the July implementation of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) policy on verified gross mass (VGM). This, after a cargo handler and a group of ocean carriers based in Cebu produced a draft order that the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) can use to locally adopt the measure.

Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR) and the Association of International Shipping Lines Cebu Chapter have submitted the draft policy to CPA and other Cebu port stakeholders for review, according to Atty. Annabel Pulvera-Page, OPASCOR legal and corporate development manager and chief legal officer.

Page, who spoke at the recent first Visayas Shipping Conference 2016 organized by PortCalls and the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA), said the draft order was based on CPA's existing policy on mandatory weighing of outbound containers, Administrative Order No. 01-2008.

By July 1 this year, amendments to Chapter VI Part A of SOLAS will take effect, requiring a shipper to verify and indicate to the carrier or port operator the VGM of a packed container before it is loaded onto the vessel. The amendment states that without the VGM data, the container will not be loaded aboard the vessel.

A competent government agency is required to issue rules specifically related to the SOLAS VGM policy. CPA is Cebu port's governing body. OPASCOR provides cargo-handling services at Cebu International Port.

Page said CPA plans to conduct public consultation on the draft policy a week after the May 9 national elections and to issue the final draft as soon as possible. A dry run is tentatively set for June 1 to familiarize shippers with the policy and allow for adjustments as needed before July.

According to the draft proposal, the shipper will not be penalized if there is a discrepancy between the weight it submitted and the weight recorded by the terminal. But the shipment will not be accepted at gate-in unless an amendment is made either with the shipping instruction or the cargo itself.

If the submitted VGM has to be amended, Page said shipping lines are being requested to make the process easy to avoid further delays.

The current weigh bridge cost, Page noted, is just P120. A fee for the sticker might be added as well.


Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing

 Decongesting the Cebu Int’l Port

 MOA New1


CIP Container Yard Congestion

 Congestion prompts CIP to rent adjacent yard space

 congestion 1


Opascor Reefer Facility

Opascor Announces Additional Reefer Facility



Firm to LGUs: Revisit truck ban

truck ban1

CEBU, Philippines - To address the "alarming" level of congestion at the Cebu International Port, an official of the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation appealed to local government units concerned to seriously revisit the ongoing truck ban.

"We strongly appeal for them to revisit the truck ban policy and seriously look into this problem," said Randy Vasquez, OPASCOR chief of finance and resource officer, describing the ban as one of the factors that contribute to the congestion.

Due to the lack of space at CIP, OPASCOR was forced to rent a space, - a 1.3-hectare lot fronting Sugbutel and another 2.2 hectare near SM City-Cebu. If combined, both spaces can accommodate at least 4,024 TEUs (20-footer container vans).

Jonathan Fernandez, OPASCOR chief for operations, said that CIP has a capacity of 7,707 TEUs, 5,411 of which are designated for imports. Currently though, there are already 5,942 container vans, more than 1,000 of which contain abandoned cargoes of the Bureau of Customs-Port of Cebu.


NEW: Tariff Rates (As of 01 MARCH 2017)



Effectivity: 01 March 2017

Tariff2017 link_final_1

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