Manila docks jammed by cargo containers due to rush-hour truck ban



Cargo containers filled with goods ranging from toys to electronics are piling up on Manila’s docks as the rush-hour truck ban threatens to dent growth in south-east Asia’s fastest-expanding economy.

Incoming cargo boxes have lingered at International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICT)’s 100-hectare port facility an average of ten days - up from the usual six - since Mayor Joseph Estrada declared the ban in February.

The port, which can’t be accessed without going through Manila’s roads, handles more than half of the nation’s overseas freight.

While the ban was intended to ease gridlock in the heart of a region of almost 23 million people, the shipping backlogs have become so severe they are hindering the country’s growth. The former American colony is losing almost ten times as much through the gridlock as it is saving from having less-congested roads.

The truck ban was introduced on February 24th in an attempt to ease traffic in a region notorious for daily commutes of five hours or more. Eight-wheeled trucks and vehicles weighing more than 4,500 kilograms (10,000 pounds) are prohibited from Manila roads between 5am. and 10 a.m. and 3pm to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.