Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chamber expresses concern about Lae port clearance times

Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday expressed fears that a larger Lae port will not necessarily mean faster cargo clearance time.
Chamber president Alan McLay said this yesterday when asked to comment on work on the Lae Port.
“We are pleased that Customs are planning to introduce a new x-ray examination centre to speed up the processing of containers, but it is our concern that the bureaucratic government services of Customs, NAQIA and PNG Ports Corporation staff will not change, and will remain a stumbling block to the efficiency of the increased sized port,” he said.
Riback Stevedores' container yard at the old Lae Airport

“With the increased size of berthage, there will be an increase in the movement of cargo across the port.
“This will mean that Customs, NAQIA and PNG Ports Corporation workers will have to work around the clock to clear the cargo in a timely manner.
“Data links to the Customs data entry system in Port Moresby will have to be improved so there is a minimum of downtime, so the containers can be cleared.
“If not then we will have a larger port which will not be equipped to handle the increased volumes of cargo.”
McLay commended China Harbour Engineering Company for tackling the massive job of dredging the tidal basin area,” in a truly professional manner”.
Lae port tidal basin project

 “Independent Public Business Corporation so far has handled some sticky claims from landowners well without them getting unmanageable, and we can see the benefits to the landowner groups,” he said.
“The benefits to Lae and the country of the increased size of the Lae Port is massive and is needed today,  and not in two to three years time, as ships are constantly waiting off shore for a berth so unload their wares and upload PNG coffee and cocoa exports.”

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