Paralyzed Philippine Port Resumes Operations

By The Maritime Executive 11-21-2013 02:41:00

The Port of Tacloban resumed full commercial operations about 12 days after super typhoon Yolanda partially paralyzed port operations in the entire Samar and Leyte provinces.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), along with International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), have been working double time to restart operations at the port, which is expected to become the ‘relief hub’ in the next couple of days.

On November 8, typhoon Yolanda unleashed its wrath in the Leyte and Samar provinces cutting all communications, electricity and other business endeavors and washing to shore all the cargo handling equipment of the port. On day two, however, operations resumed but limited only to small vessels like landing craft and barges.

According to PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana, the new pieces of cargo handling equipment arrived at the Port of Tacloban Wednesday, which are provided by ICTSI—the country’s top port and cargo handling operator.

“We have contracted the expertise of ICTSI to temporarily run the port until the existing cargo handling operator recovers from the damage brought about by the typhoon,” Sta. Ana explained.

“We are very grateful that ICTSI agreed to lend not only their expertise but also their cargo handling equipment for only P1 at least in the next six months,” Sta. Ana added.

“Tacloban is fully functioning with guarantees of fast vessel turnaround time and safe navigability of its waters,” Sta. Ana said.

Among the equipment for Tacloban, carried in 180 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), include 12 forklifts of different sizes to move the different sizes of containers; seven generator sets that will be used to electrify the terminal; six tower lights to support night operations of the port; several units of reach stackers for mobility of cargo; and an additional 5 payloaders for cleaning.

As of the moment, all relief missions are coursed through Cebu owing to limited operations not only in seaports but also in airports due to lack of equipment.

“Now that Tacloban Port is already in full swing, it will greatly facilitate the movement of relief goods in the next couple of days both for the National Government and the different non-government organizations,” Sta. Ana added.