Just in time for the Christmas and forthcoming New Year, imported frozen and refrigerated foods can be brought in to Cebu and the Visayas in a much larger volume.
The management of Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR), the exclusive cargo-handling service provider of the Cebu International Port (CIP) announced this last Tuesday in a media conference held at the White Gold House restaurant.
“That means for the next five to ten years we are confident that OPASCOR can handle the growing demand for reefer services,” Randy Vazquez, the chief finance resource officer/finance manager of the firm said.
Vazquez said that the installation of a multi-million reefer container storage facility is also in anticipation of the opening soon of two additional big malls in Cebu City, the SM Seaside City at the South Road Properties (formerly the South Reclamation Project-SRP) and Robinsons, which is also constructing a new one near the pier area.
OPASCOR operations manager Jonathan Fernandez explained that right now they have installed 214 reefer plugs which could accommodate the same number of refrigerated/reefer container at any given time.
Atty. Annabel Pulvera-Page, the Legal and Corporate Development Department Manager added that the facility could even accommodate more, depending on the necessity.
“The good news about the facility, expandable pa sab siya, it is made ready for additional reefer plugs just in case,” Page emphasized.
The installation of the reefer facility came after OPASCOR took it over from the Cebu Ports Authority which only have 45 reefer plugs then, gradually increasing it until the new facility was completed last November 14.
An OPASCOR data cited by Fernandez revealed that only an average of 200 reefer containers are being serviced by OPASCOR every month at the CIP but with the new facility, they are anticipating an increase in volume citing that Cebu based importers which used to coursed through their orders through the Metro Manila ports could now directly sent it to Cebu.
Before, because of the lack of reefer container facility, local importers which even include those coming from Mindanao have been making Manila as their port of entry of their imported goods to the country.
Not only are the importers can avail of the use of the reefer facility, however, also the exporters especially products which needs temperature control before their wares are loaded in the vessel for export.
Fernandez also said that locators at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) are using their reefer facility because of some semi-conductor raw materials that needs temperature control when being shipped.
As per CPA approved tariff, OPASCOR is charging P58 per hour for forty container vans that will their use their reefer facility plugs while a rate of P105 per hour is being set for the forty footer containers.
The approval of the OPASCOR 2014 tariff rates has been pre-conditioned by the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) that additional reefer facility be installed at the CIP.
Championing the cause of port workers, OPASCOR, which calls itself “Workers Enterprise” has been established in 1990 where it is wholly-owned by its workers since each one of them has a stake in its shares of stocks, on top of their incomes and earnings as they worked.
ALU-TUCP Pres. Emeritus, Atty. Democrito Mendoza is at its helm but Atty. Tomas Riveral, now stands as its President and General Manager.