The Department of Trade and Industry through its Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (DTI-PSB) has recorded that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have the most number of complaints on undelivered balikbayan box shipments through sea in 2013.
Out of the 149 total complaints received by DTI-PSB pertaining to balikbayan boxes which were not delivered to rightful owners or consignees, 37 or 25percent of these complaints came from KSA, while 31 or 21percent were shipped from the UAE. The United States, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and Singapore followed with 22, 19, 11 and seven complaints that are equivalent to 15percent, 13percent, 5percent and 7percent, respectively.
DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Officer-in-Charge lawyer Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba reiterates to the public, especially the overseas Filipino workers in the countries mentioned, to send only their hard-earned balikbayan boxes to foreign consolidators which have agents or freight forwarders in the Philippines that are DTI-accredited, to be certain that their cargoes will be received by their loved ones.
“The non-delivery of balikbayan box usually occurs when incoming shipments of balikbayanboxes are abandoned at the Philippine ports for failure of unscrupulous foreign consolidators to remit necessary funds to their Philippine agents for the delivery of cargoes to consignees,” Dimagiba explained.
Consolidating the complaints on balikbayan box shipments, the DTI-PSB issues its weekly advisory on foreign consolidators/ principals and freight forwarders with cases elevated to the Department of Justice (DOJ), operating without the DTI accreditation, issued with formal charges, and with pending complaints.
In its advisory on January 20, 2014, 11 KSA-based foreign consolidators/ principals were included in the list for not remitting the necessary funds to their Philippine agents to effect the release of containers where usually, balikbayan boxes are part of the cargoes. They are: Caravan Cargo Agency; Cargo Net Worldwide Services formerly FAL-World Express Cargo; Global Cargo; Jonar Cargo; Kabalen Forwarders, North and South Express Cargo; PC Worldwide Cargo; Sir Cargo Forwarders; WRJ Freight Forwarders (A Division of Al-Zagel Cargo); Mohsen Cargo Services; and Fil-Arab International Cargo.
The Philippine agents of these foreign consolidators are: Megatop Express Cargo Forwarder; Manila Broker; J.J. Transglobal Brokerage; Jonar Cargo; RGC Green Logistics; Kabalen Forwarders; R&M Cargo Services; and Sir2Go.
Forwarders that are not accredited with the DTI and should not engage in the freight forwarding business. Meanwhile, some accredited companies namely, DXL International Freight Forwarder, Inc., and, ECFS International Forwarding, Inc. that are implicated in the complaints are now facing revocation of their accreditation with DTI.