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population, traffic, and economic activity, is approxi. mately 4.5 million square feet. Considering the large volume of traffic now moving to and from this port (2.8 million short tons of dry cargo in 1967) and the growth projected to 1975 (chart II-2), this amount of warehouse space appears wholly inadequate to handle the dry cargo storage requirements of the Port of San Juan efficiently. Evidence indicates that common carriers berthing at Puerto Nuevo, Isla Grande, and Old San Juan need additional warehousing and transit shed facilities to handle cargo which is not picked up during the free time allotted.

3. Puerto Nuevo

The total useable warehousing and transit shed space at Puerto Nuevo is approximately 560,000 square feet, over half of which is the warehousing space provided by the Central Market.


a. Transit Sheds

There are three transit sheds located adjacent to the berthing facilities at Puerto Nuevo. Two of the transit sheds, located beside berths A and B, are owned by the Ports Authority and used by Lykes and foreign carriers. These transit sheds have a total useable space of approximately 110,000 square feet. Sea-Land utilizes shed D, amounting to another 100,000 square feet of useable space for LTL shipments originating in the West Coast. It also operates a truck warehouse of about 50,000 square foot capacity nearby (par. B 2b). As previously indicated, stripping and stuffing operations require an additional 100,000 square feet of storage space to handle present traffic. Additional storage space is required by TMT and Berwind Lines operations (par. B 2b).

4. Isla Grande

2. Old San Juan

The Ports Authority maintains several piers in Old San Juan containing warehouses and transit sheds having a combined useable space of approximately 430,000 square feet. In actuality, the warehouses on the piers of Old San Juan are not being used as public warehouses but as transit sheds. In discussing the location of warehouses, the American Association of Port Authorities in Port Design and Construction stated:

“For reasons of economy of operations, the distance from the operating berth should be kept to a minimum to cut down travel time for stevedoring equipment, and provide for the rapid loading or unloading of the ship. This distance, however, should not be so close to an operating berth that the warehouse could be used as a transit shed, thus changing its true function. Generally speaking, this would mean that a warehouse should not be closer to an operating berth than the length of the berth.” 63 The storage space on the piers is hampered by narrow apron spaces or poorly designed sheds. Many of the piers are over 50 years old and incompatible with present day handling requirements. Several piers, therefore, are able to accommodate only light cargo due to their weakened condition. In addition, the location of these piers hampers movement of cargo from the piers inland. As previously indicated, the streets leading from the piers are narrow and inadequate for efficient circulation required in cargo handling. In discussing size require. ments for facilities of this type, “Port Design and Construction” makes the following observation:

"The overall dimensions of a warehouse are quite often limited by the available space. However, where space restrictions do not occur, the size can be best established by the use to which the warehouse is to be put.

The facilities at Isla Grande are shared by Seatrain, TMT, and Berwind Lines. Seatrain operates a 32,000 square foot transit shed, and TMT and Berwind Lines have converted naval air ship hangars into storage fa. cilities. TMT's warehouse contains 100,000 square feet of useable storage space.

5. Private Warehousing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Re. search Report No. 733 characterizes the facilities for the storage of food products as inadequate. This publication states:

“Inadequate facilities contribute more to high costs of operation in the markets than any other single factor, primarily because of the extra labor required for performing jobs that could be done nuch more easily, cheaply, and simply with adequate facilities. Both the size and shape of many facilities are inadequate for the operations being per

53 The American Association of Port Authorities, Inc., Port Design and Construction (Washington : 1964), p. 88.

54 Ibid.

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1 Ramirez Bonded Warehouse and Cold Storage
2 San Agustin Cold Storage, Inc.
3 Valencia Baxt Express, Inc.
4 Almacen Covadonga
5 Almacenes Maritimos, Inc.
6 Puerto Rico Warehouse Corp.
7 Frigorifico Caribe
8 Almacenes Miramar
9 Malecon Warehouse
10 Commonwealth Cold Storage
11 Capital Transportation, Inc.
12 J. Gus Lallande, Inc.
13 Siegmund's, Inc.
14 Caribbean Van Lines, Inc.
15 Puerto Rico Forwarding
16 Tropical Industries, Inc.
17 Luis Ayala Colon
18 Ponce Cold Storage
19 Mayagüez Dock Shipping, Inc.
20 Frigorifico Sultana
21 Prime Meat Distribution, Inc.
22 World Wide Warehousing, Inc.
23 Acme Fast Freight Inc.
24 Caribe Storage Distribution, Inc.
25 A.V. Distribution Warehouse, Inc.
26 Productos Libby's International


23,000 San Juan. 60,000 San Juan. 20,000 San Juan. 100,000 San Juan. 835,475 San Juan. 20,000 San Juan. 70,000 San Juan. 14,695 San Juan.

4,000 San Juan. 37,000 San Juan. 75,000 San Juan. 78,016 San Juan. 37,500 San Juan. 10,500 San Juan.

Río Piedras.

Ponce. 10,000 Ponce.

3,000 Ponce. 3,356.67 Mayagüez.

Mayagüez. 7,927 Mayagüez. 45,000 Carolina. 16,000 Carolina. 23,000 Guaynabo. 24,000 Guaynabo.

2,440 Guaynabo. 1,549,619.70

Source: Puerto Rico Public Service Commission.

Although the need for additional warehousing has been recognized by many, there have been very few changes in the public facilities over the last decade. Only six new public warehouses have been constructed. During the same period, Puerto Rico's trade increased over 100 percent and is expected to double its 1967 volume by 1975. Moreover, the Ports Authority will double the number of berths at Puerto Nuevo by 1985. There should be approximately 70,000 to 100,000 square feet of transit shed area per ship berth. As stated previously, warehouses used in conjunction with transit sheds should be of comparable size.

7. Development of Public and Private

Warehousing The shortage of public and private warehousing is a serious problem which requires the effective action of business and government. This lack has been due partially to the former practices regarding collection of demurrage charges by ocean carriers who had permitted many consignees or shippers with inadequate storage

65 Letter of Godofredo M. Gaetan, Chairman, Puerto Rico PSC, Mar, 10, 1970 to Paul Gonzalez, Chief, Branch of Trade Studies and Special Projects, FMC.

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facilities to keep containers in excess of free time. Although water carriers have improved the collection

demurrage charges in recent years, in the past they experienced considerable problems in collecting such charges. In other words, the carriers' containers have provided shippers with the required storage space, but such use of containers in excess of free time denies the carrier the use of its containers and increases costs. Because little demurrage was collected in the past, the use of containers was ovided at little or no cost to the shipper. This partially explains the lack of private warehousing in Puerto Rico. Many shippers do not pickup LTL cargo until after the last day of free time, and the carrier is forced to assess demurrage charges or to store the cargo. The resulting increase in costs may result in higher prices and cost of living for the ultimate consumer. In addition, the very low wharf demurrage charges which were formally assessed by the Commonwealth also provided shippers or consignees with inexpensive storage. Shippers were able to store their goods more cheaply at terminals by paying demurrage charges

than by the use of public or private warehouses.56 Furthermore, in the 1950's breakbulk traffic movements also reduced the need for warehousing because consignees used the piers and transit sheds at Old San Juan for warehouse purposes to a much greater extent than is now practiced. Today, a loaded trailer does not require such dock storage. These trailers move from shipside at the ocean terminal to inland points of destination making it increasingly necessary that public warehouses be expanded to receive and store this traffic.

This picture is changing with the recent enforcement of demurrage charges by some carriers and the recent increase in wharf demurrage charges. By a more vigorous collection of demurrage charges some carriers are forcing shippers to return vans sooner. The higher wharf demurrage charges in effect since January 1, 1968 have encouraged earlier pickup at the terminal. These developments may induce shippers in Puerto

56 Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Dues for the Use of Harbors of Puerto Rico and Rates, Fees, Rentals, and Other Charges Applicable to the Use of Space and the Exercise of Privileges at Marine Terminal Facilities of Puerto Rico Ports Authority (San Juan: July 1967), p. 9.

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Rico to: (1) invest in private warehousing in order to remain competitive with those shippers who presently have adequate warehousing facilities; 57 and (2) use public warehousing to a greater extent thus stimulating new investment in public warehousing. Although some private warehousing may result from the shippers' de. sire to cut costs, it may be unsafe to rely on such competitive influence to produce the incentive for construction of warehousing facilities on the Island.

The problem of storage in San Juan has grown progressively worse over the past ten years, a condition which will continue to grow worse as the traffic flow rises unless aggressive action is taken by the Commonwealth (Fomento and Ports Authority) to encourage the development of adequate warehousing facilities and transit shed facilities at San Juan, Ponce, and Mayagüez. The lack of public and private warehousing in the port of San Juan is significant because the bulk of cargo remains in the metropolitan area. Most of the commodi. ties imported are consumed by the population or indus. tries centered within the metropolitan area. Therefore, the total warehousing space available in this area is important and should be augmented by new investment.

2. Dockage

Dockage is the charge assessed against a vessel for berthing at or making fast to a wharf, pier, or bulkhead structure, or for mooring to another vessel so berthed.

Dockage rates remained unchanged for 10 years, between July 1, 1957, and January 1, 1968. For vessels over 1,000 GRT using shedded berths, the charge was one cent per GRT per day. Rates at open berths were one-half those applicable at shedded berths. Effective January 1, 1968, the dockage rates were changed as shown in table VI-10.

The differentiation between charges assessed against long haul and short haul vessels is based on the idea that a short haul carrier has a lesser “ability to pay” than one operating in a long haul trade (i.e., between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico).

The practice in relation to dockage rates is not unique to Puerto Rico. California ports assess a lower dockage rate to vessels engaged in the Inland Waterway trade than to those in the coastwise and offshore trades. The practice of assessing different dockage charges to carriers in different trades may create possibilities of


The Puerto Rico Ports Authority assesses harbor dues, dockage and wharfage, at the terminals which it owns and operates in San Juan, Mayagüez, Arecibo, Fajardo, and Jobos. At other ports only harbor dues are assessed.

1. Harbor Dues

Harbor dues are assessed against any vessel entering and using a Puerto Rican port. The funds are used to maintain safe harbors and anchorages, and are not

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Dockage Rates in Puerto Rico—1968



GRT PER DAY" (cents)

Vessels in other than intra-island or Puerto Rican/Virgin Islands trade. Vessels in intra-island or Puerto Rican/Virgin Islands trade.

3.6 2.7

i The minium assessment per vessel, per day is $3. Source: Puerto Rico Ports Authority.

discrimination. There are many factors which must be considered, however, before it can be determined whether the discrimination is unjust or unreasonable.

3. Wharfage

Wharfage is the charge assessed against the cargo for the passage of that cargo on, over, under or through any wharf, wharf premise, pier or bulkhead structure, inward or outward. It also includes the charge assessed against cargo passing or conveyed between vessels (to or from barge, lighter or water) or by pipeline when berthed at wharf or when moored in a slip adjacent to the wharf.

As in the case of dockage, wharfage rates remained unchanged from July 1, 1957, to January 1, 1968. During that period, the basic wharfage charge was 2 cents

per 100 pounds or 1 cent per cubic foot, depending upon which would produce greater revenue to the Port Au. thority. This method was eliminated with the January 1, 1968 changes, and wharfage is now applied to the weight or cubic measurement as manifested by the ocean carrier.

Table VI-11 shows current wharfage charges at Puerto Rico Ports Authority terminals.

Again, in the assessment of wharfage, the "ability to pay” idea is applied, and the short haul cargo in the Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands trade pays at a lower rate than the long haul cargoes.

California ports lave a differential in wharfage charges also, with three rate categories—Inland Waterway, Coastwise, and all other cargo.

The practice of assessing different wharfage charges, depending on the trade, may create problems regard

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ing discrimination. As in the case of dockage, however, there are several factors which must be considered before it can be determined if this practice is unjust or unreasonable.

4. Carrier Wharfage

Although wharfage charges are assessed against the cargo, the carrier collects the charges and transmits them to the Ports Authority. Historically, however, the carriers in the U.S. mainland/Puerto Rican trade have published “wharfage" charges in their tariffs which are higher than those paid to the Ports Authority. The wharfage charges assessed by the carriers (except SACAL) on cargo moving to Puerto Rico from Atlantic and Gulf ports are higher than the wharfage on cargo moving from Puerto Rico to those ports. As of January 1, 1969, the carriers published wharfage charges were as shown in table VI-12.

The disparity in rates between those published by the Ports Authority and the carriers is considerable. For example on southbound traffic, New York to San Juan, the carrier assesses 6 cents or 5 cents per 100 pounds, and remits to the Ports Authority their charge of 214 cents per 100 pounds. On northbound traffic, even though the carriers' rates are lower than southbound in most cases, the charges are still higher than those of the Ports Authority i.e., 11/2 cents or 2 cents per cubic foot as opposed to 114 cents per cubic foot.

The practice developed when breakbulk cargo was dominant and freight rates were quoted to end of ship's tackle. It was intended that the extra charge bridge the gap between the end of ship's tackle at the Puerto Rican port and a place of rest on the terminal facility where the cargo was available for pickup. With the advent of containerization, many of the cargo handling processes were eliminated. The old rate structure remained, however, and shippers are still being assessed more for

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