All ICTSI Terminals are fully operational as our teams continue to work with local and national authorities in all jurisdictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. We are taking every measure to protect our employees, customers, suppliers, contractors and the communities interacting with our Terminals, while ensuring that our part of the logistics chain is operating smoothly.
ICTSI is a global container terminal operator with 31 facilities around the world. Our flagship operation at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) handles international containerized cargo. Our other local and global facilities likewise focus on international container handling. Most facilities operate through web-based terminal operating systems with semi-automated or automated gates and online billing capabilities. Cargo handling is performed through single-operator port equipment. Standard security and safety policies dictate that there is limited human interaction in the operational areas. Where there is substantial human interaction, whether employee to employee, or customer to employee, ICTSI is taking all the necessary measures according to global best practice to either temporarily stop the interaction or limit it without any disruption to the essential flow of trade.
The immediate risks of COVID-19 to our business would come in the form of suspected virus spread. Thus, there would be temporary isolation of certain pieces of equipment, a shut-down of the billing areas or other commercial areas, and temporary stoppages of operations to isolate facilities and ensure a safe environment for the continued flow of goods. Macro risks include a reduction in volume at certain facilities due to a general slowdown in trade.
The impact of COVID-19 to our business operations is related to these potential interruptions or disruptions. The impact of volume slowdowns will be regional in nature and will depend on how global supply chains continue to be affected by COVID-19. Our operations in the Philippines and other terminals around the world remain fully operational with no operational disruptions recorded to date. At our flagship facility in Manila, movement to and from the National Capital Region remains unimpeded based on the recently issued regulations by the national government.
Our Company is completely focused on the current COVID-19 situation. Our organization has taken steps to implement various stringent measures to mitigate the risks of COVID–19, such as: cascading clear guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus during vessel, yard, and landside operations; strongly promoting non-contact activities such as acceptance of online payments where possible and enforcing commercial policies to minimize face to face contact with personnel, both internal and external; at some sites, we are implementing vehicle booking systems to control the number of truck arrivals on an hourly basis to avoid truck build-up and mass gatherings. We are also communicating constantly with all relevant government agencies. In the Philippines, we have encouraged our customers to use our inland and barge facilities in Laguna and Cavite to provide options for locators in those areas to reduce travel and interaction.
In addition to this, all employees, customers, suppliers, contractors and other port users are mandated to strictly follow ICTSI’s Memorandum on COVID-19 Precautionary Measures, which include the appropriate hygiene practices and social distancing requirements. There are temperature checks at all Philippine entry points (terminal entrances, office areas, and parking areas). Our Philippine teams will have Work From Home arrangements, flexi–hours or skeletal workforce deployment depending on their functions during the community quarantine period in Metro Manila. We have likewise ensured that all places in the Philippine terminals are sanitized and disinfected, including regular disinfection for all work spaces and shuttle services, especially high foot traffic areas (disinfection of touch points like door knobs, rails, kiosks, biometric areas, and turnstiles).
Considering that the COVID-19 situation is extremely dynamic, we will continuously to assess its risks and impacts not only to our business operations, but also to our employees, customers, port users, suppliers, contractors and communities where we operate. We will also continue to improve our mitigating measures as and when necessary.
We are committed to play a positive role in reducing the potential threats and effects of COVID-19 on our families, colleagues, and the rest of our stakeholders while ensuring a constant flow of essential trade. As the government calls on everyone to work together to prevent the further spread and eventually eradicate this infectious disease, we remain steadfast and dedicated to do our part in this national, collective fight against COVID-19.