Half of all shipping ops affected by quarantine

April 04, 2020
Container terminals

A little more than half of all shipping operations in the country were either canceled, delayed, or not completed during the second half of March due to travel constraints and other restrictions in the country brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

In an assessment based on data from March 16 to 31, the Maritime Industry Authority said 53 percent of all shipping operations, including both passenger and cargo operations, were affected by the Code Red Sub-level 2 measures imposed on maritime transportation.

“Operations of passenger ships were more affected compared to cargo ships. (Some) 83 percent of the cargo shipping operations were completed under normal conditions compared to passenger ships at 33 percent,” MARINA said.

It said the transport of goods is assured amid the enhanced community quarantine.

On a daily average, it said 101 ship operations were completed under normal conditions, 94 were canceled, 15 were delayed, and five were not completed.

The canceled voyages, MARINA said, were mainly attributed to the enhanced community quarantine, lockdown, and other measures imposed by different local government units on the country’s ports.

Those delayed, meanwhile, were attributed to the strict inspection of all ships by the Philippine Coast Guard, lack of cargoes, port congestion, and ship prioritization, among others.

For uncompleted shipping operations, it said the ships were either still underway to their destinations, awaiting advice for docking, or may have issues with berthing.

The total number of shipping operations from the period reached 3,416, of which 2,446 were passenger ships and 970 were cargo ships.

On Thursday, the PCG said a total of 2,522 vessels and other watercraft were inspected from March 31 to April 1 in cooperation with the Task Force Laban Covid-19 Water Cluster.

During the inspection, it said more than 9,000 crew members and fisherfolk underwent medical screening, while about 700 seaborne patrols were carried out nationwide.