Next, the Port Authority of Guam will have to get the approval of the PUC in order for the new rates to go into effect.
Guam – The Port Authority board of directors approved the port’s request for tariff increases which means consumer goods costs could go up as well in the near future.
The Port Authority of Guam board today unanimously approved a resolution that seeks to increase tariffs at the Port for the next five years.
The tariff increases propose a rate increase of 7 percent for the first two years and then an increase of 1 percent each year for the remaining three years. Port General Manager Joanne Brown says this is not the first time that they sought a five year rate increase.
“Last year we did present a proposed five year tariff petition which involved a 7 percent increase for each year. At the time our board only agreed to a single year which is what we ended up having to present to the public utilities commission. The PUC did approve our one year 7 percent increase,” explained Brown.
Now that the Port board approved the request for the five year rate increase, the Port Authority will have to seek approval from the Public Utilities Commission.
“Of course we still have to go to the PUC. There will be public meetings throughout the ocmmunity to allow members of our community, our customers also to have input,” she noted.
So what does a 7 percent increase look like if it’s approved? Based on current rates, for a standard 20 foot dry container, the cost per container would go from $516 to about $544. For a 20 foot refrigerated container, the cost would go from $646 to about $683.
“I mean at the end of the day nobody desires rate increases. None of us do as consumers but in order to address the upgraded and improved infrastructure, definitely provide the capacity that our carriers have asked for, have demanded of us, there’s a price tag to that,” Brown said.
We asked Brown why the Port Authority is continuing to seek tariff increases even if they had just recently received a $50 million grant from the federal government.
“Well certainly the $50 million that we received that we received from Department of Transportation and managing those funds from DOD will help address the military buildup issues but at the same time we have organic growth issues that we need to address. We have infrastructure that requires maintenance, that requires repair. This facility is coming on its 50th anniversary, obviously there are cracks that need to be addressed so to speak,” she explained.