The Philippine Port Authority’s P877.6 million container registry and monitoring system will enhance competitiveness and allow a cost-saving mechanism for stakeholders in the logistics space.
While players in the logistics industry, particularly Customs brokers and truckers, including importers and foreign carriers, will benefit from reducing container deposit container management fees, the government is also well poised to receive greater leverage against smuggling activities.
Indeed, the 14,000-strong Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. is throwing its support to the Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System and Empty Container Storage Shared Service Facility of the Philippine Ports Authority as it would no longer require their members to pay for the container deposits to cover the loss and damages of containers.
“For the last two decades, we practicing customs brokers have seen and experienced the perennial problem in the requirement of the different international shipping lines of container deposits before the release of delivery orders/container release orders ranging from P10,000 to P20,000/TEU up to P100,000 for specialized containers such as flat rack and reefer container,” CCBI President Adones Carmona said in his letter to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago.
He added that “the claim of refund after the return of the empty container and submission of the request for the return of the container deposit ranges from a month to a year that made life difficult for our members.” Carmona continued, “With subsequent claims by the shipping lines of damages and unfair deductions are made to the deposits.”
The PPA signed a contract with the joint venture between NextIX and Shiptek Solutions Corp. to implement the TOP-CRMS and issued a Notice to Proceed on May 2 after completing the pre-bidding conference processes.
The container monitoring project covers the delivery of full technology stack, supply, technical implementation services, financing, and provision of managed services. The CRMS would streamline transactions to support the ease of doing business, trade facilitation, and border protection.
In addition, the project provides real-time container tracking systems. It is a series of technological functions that allow customers, shippers, carriers, and freight forwarders to access the latest status updates on cargo. The technology is effective regardless of location, time zone, route, port, personnel, and cargo type.
One of the most significant benefits of the TOP-CRMS to customs brokers is the early warning signs technology embedded in the system that could moderate the containers’ demurrage, detention, and insurance coverage fees.
More importantly, the container monitoring system could allow customs brokers to gain new customers with an accurate and up-to-date communication system.
Aware of these benefits, the CCBI president lauded the PPA for its implementation. He expressed his gratitude to Santiago and said he looks forward to the smooth implementation of the container monitoring project.
Importantly for the government, the container monitoring system will provide a whole-of-government approach to tracking container movement and management by giving relevant government agencies access to information and even automating and streamlining their own processes.
The anti-smuggling feature of the CRMS preempts cargo diversion, or the act of diverting shipments to another warehouse, with its real-time container tracking. Law enforcers could quickly identify where the shipments are located, which port stakeholders said would eliminate “for hire consignees,” as all foreign-owned shipping containers, both laden and empty, are monitored.
The technology, similar to the tracking system now in use among private port operators, makes it easy for investigators to identify and prosecute suspected smugglers.
For the truckers, the container monitoring project would offer them a heave of relief as it would eliminate long hours of queueing in the ports to wait for their cargo as they will have real-time information on their status.
This can declog the streets leading to entry points in all the ports across the country as usual practice now when you see long lines of trucks waiting for the release of their containers (cargoes). Truckers will go in when they need to go in and move out when they have to move out.