Exporters complain of lack of vessel space for Philippine shipments

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Exporters complain of lack of vessel space for Philippine shipments

EIGHTY per cent of Philippines exporting firms cannot ship out their products due to lack of vessel space, according to a survey of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), reports the Philippines Star.

Among these firms is an exporter of banana chips, virgin coconut oil, coconut flour and similar products, shipping out about 500 TEU to Asia and the Americas every month, said Philexport.

Also affected is a ceramics company exporting 30 FEU of decorative earthenware to the US and Europe per month.

Others waiting to ship out products include a freight forwarder of decorative items, furniture, handicrafts and dried foodstuffs exporting 100 TEU each month to Europe, the US, United Kingdom, Australia, China and the United Arab Emirates, and a company engaged in the export of 40 FEU high-cube containers of holiday decor, tabletops, dolls, and giftware per week to the US, Europe and Oceania.

"With our huge export market in these regions, it is reasonable to foresee that the export industry will incur huge losses if this issue goes unresolved,” Philexport said.

Ninety per cent of the respondents cited lack of space in international shipping lines among the top shipping challenges they face. Other challenges cited are higher freight rates (56.3 per cent) and lack of containers (45 per cent).

Philexport said an earlier survey covering 65 respondents showed similar results, with pending cargoes including processed food, furniture, housewares and activated carbon now at 30,000 TEU.

"As quarantine guidelines are eased globally and vaccination programmes are implemented, we project this volume will double or even triple, sizable enough for shipping lines to take notice,” said Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis.

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