Guam -Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz is warning that “The price of everything” on Guam will go up as the Port Authority of Guam deliberates a tariff increase on incoming container shipments.
Based on the Port’s own plans, Cruz estimates, that “container fees may rise from $125 to $287 per container, over time, with much of the increases coming in the immediate next two years.”
In a letter to Port GM Joanne Brown the Senator writes:
“By the Port’s own decisions, PAG sat down to a dinner it could not afford—now every consumer on Guam is forced to foot the bill. I would ask that the PAG instead be honest about its circumstances and make it abundantly clear that it plans to take our community down a path we cannot afford.”
READ the release from Senator Cruz below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Vice Speaker Cruz: Expect the price of everything to go up
(March 28, 2013- Hagatna) Expect the price of everything to up. That’s the message Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz would like convey to the consumer as the Port Authority of Guam deliberates on six possible scenarios for additional container tariffs on top of increases that were already approved by the Public Utilities Commission only months ago.
In a letter to Port General Manager Joanne Brown sent this morning, Cruz said the port needs to be honest with the community about the cost of shipping to the island’s only seaport. Based on the port’s own plans, the Vice Speaker estimates that container fees may rise from $125 to $287 per container, over time, with much of the increases coming in the immediate next two years.
Cruz was also critical of the assumptions that were made to develop the proposed increase because of a report prepared by Slater, Nakamura & Co., LLC and presented to the Public Utilities Commission late last year. Cruz fears that if the port’s assumptions about build-up related revenue and the true costs of maintaining and replacing old cranes (it insisted on buying) are wrong, the port may instead ask for even more tariff increases.
“Had you read the Slater, Nakamura report, you would know that this un-biased third party had reservations regarding the PAG’s container traffic forecasts,” Cruz wrote to Brown. “According to the group’s report, beginning in 2014, a surcharge of $140 per container would be required for PAG to generate adequate revenues to cover the cost of operations and in order to generate the necessary reserves to replace four cranes by 2027, the surcharge would need to be $340 per container!”