SBMA to raise cargo-handling charges by 15%

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Board has approved a proposal to increase vessel, cargo handling, and miscellaneous tariffs by 15%, while decreasing the free cargo storage period and introducing new port charges.

“The tariff adjustment, free storage (period) decrease, and introduction of new items are proposed for the purpose of cost recovery, remaining competitive with other ports in Luzon, and supporting the requirement to invest continuously in terminal improvements to attain world-class operations,” the SBMA said in a notice published Wednesday.

The SBMA said that the 15% tariff increase will exclusively apply to vessel and cargo handling charges and miscellaneous tariffs of containerized cargoes and will be executed in two tranches.

The first tranche covers a 10% increase and is targeted for implementation by June, while the remaining 5% will be implemented by September, according to Board Resolution No. 24-04-0574.

According to the SBMA, the increase in tariffs is due to inflation and a weakening peso.

The resolution also stated that the free storage period for reefer and out-of-gauge (OOG) cargoes will be reduced to five days from 10.

“In comparison to Manila, the free storage period for reefer and OOG freight is a maximum of five days from the date of discharge,” the SBMA said.

Meanwhile, the SBMA said that the new cargo handling and port charges will be implemented at New Container Terminals 1 and 2, citing rising operating costs.

The new charges include pier lighting from 6 pm to 6 am ($2.47/hour), crane standby ($179.79/hour), premium for non-cellular vessels ($146.62/hour), equipment RTG rental (P4,749.58/hour), and lift-on/lift-off (P966). — Justine Irish D. Tabile