zoom Utilization level at Manila South Harbor (MSH) and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) are coming back to normal levels, the Philippine Ports Authority claims.As of Friday, February 20th the utilization is at 76.5% or approximately 62,300 twenty-foot equivalent units at the MSH and the MICT. The level is 3.5 percentage points lower than the 80% utilization level target set by the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion. Yard utilization level has been hovering around 75% to 79% since the Papal visit, the PPA said.The combined number of vessels waiting at pilot station likewise declined to five excluding vessels currently at berth with a combined total of 10 ships. Vessel turnaround time still remains at two days while the average yard productivity for both ports is at 18 moves per hour per crane.“The continued decline in the utilization level of the Manila ports is a clear manifestation of a healthy government and private sector partnership,” PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana said.Transport undersecretary Julianito Bucayan, Jr. stressed the government and private sector partnership in addressing bottleneck issues clouting the Philippines.Speaking before the delegates to the 8th Ports and Shipping Conference held in Manila recently, Bucayan said both sectors should truly recognize and effectively play their role into coming up with a win-win solution in addressing every concern affecting the Philippine supply chain.“One of the good examples of a good government and private sector partnership is the issue of port congestion wherein both sectors agreed to sacrifice certain aspects of their operations to solve port congestion,” Bucayan explained.However, the effects of the congestion are yet to be minimized as liner companies, faced with delays and cost increases, opt for surcharges.French liner giant CMA CGM said earlier today that a port congestion surcharge has been introduced as of February 15th, 2015, as the congestion at Manila port keeps deteriorating.The company said that the surcharge, USD 800 per Reefer container, was necessary to cover extra costs related to plugging, monitoring and extensive usage of its equipment.World Maritime News Staff
In a video message to the ITU World Conference on International Telecommunications, taking place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, Secretary-General Ban called on Member States to maintain the free electronic flow of ideas and information, adding that the UN “stands behind the goal of an open Internet.”“A digital divide has no place in the information age and 21st-century knowledge economy,” he said. “Our overall objective must be to ensure universal access to information and communication technology – including for the two-thirds of the world’s population currently not online.” The 11-day conference – which is slated to run until 14 December – will bring an estimated 1,900 delegates from 193 nations together to review the current International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which function as the binding global treaty designed to facilitate international interconnection of information and communication services, as well as ensuring their efficiency and widespread public usefulness and availability. Although the treaty sets out general principles for assuring the free flow of information around the world, media reports have anticipated diplomatic clashes between Member States over the level of global oversight necessary in regulating the internet, with some delegates reportedly voicing concern that too much regulation would potentially stifle online freedom of expression and ease of communication. In his address, the Secretary-General affirmed the need for a free internet as part of the digital citizen’s “right to communicate” and share ideas across all media and all frontiers. “Information and communications technologies are transforming our world, opening doors, educating and empowering people, saving lives,” Mr. Ban said, pointing to the effects of social media and technology in driving the Arab Spring protests and similar democratization efforts around the world. “We must continue to work together and find consensus on how to effectively keep cyberspace open, accessible, affordable and secure for all,” he added.