While awaiting completion of infrastructure projects that would solve Metro Manila’s traffic, port stakeholders are turning to technology for quick and practical ways to enhance the road logistics chain serving the Port of Manila.
The Confederation of Truckers’ Associations of the Philippines (CTAP) recently lauded Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI), the operator of Manila South Harbor, for the launch of a web-based container monitoring system aiding truckers in returning empty containers to the port.
Mimicking traffic lights on roads, the online system triggers green, yellow and red colors to indicate the availability of empty container slots for a particular shipping line at South Harbor.
The system can be viewed on digital display boards within the terminal or can be accessed online through ATI’s WebTrack facility at www.asianterminals.com.ph.
This allows truckers to monitor the acceptance of empties at the port on a real-time basis. With this information, truckers can better plan turnaround trips to the port from their importers’ warehouses, thereby saving on operating costs and helping to ease road traffic conditions.
“This is a welcome development for the industry and would greatly benefit not just truckers, but also businesses and consumers who rely on us to bring vital commodities from the ports to warehouses, factories and groceries in a timely manner,” CTAP president Ruperto Bayocot said in a statement.
As the system conveniently delivers fool-proof and real-time information, “this allows us greater operational predictability and flexibility which will redound to safer and more trips for our truckers, without fear of exploitation,” CTAP chairman Rodolfo de Ocampo said.
“We are highly appreciative of ATI’s initiatives, and we hope that other port stakeholders follow suite in order to create a more productive road logistics chain,” de Ocampo added.
For ATI, the web-tracking system is a precursor of a more comprehensive Vehicle Booking System (VBS) the port operator is planning to further improve terminal efficiency and the operating environment for truckers.