The government plans to introduce a nationwide freight transport program to improve the movement of goods along the country’s vast waterways.
The program, named Pendulum Nusantara (Pendulum of the Archipelago), aims to create a single sea corridor for moving goods within Indonesia. Under the program, the government will use six seaports — Belawan, Batam, Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Makassar and Sorong — as the main gateways.
Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that a “mother ship” would travel regularly through the main seaports, serving as a hub.
“It will move like a pendulum, from one port to another and the schedule for smaller vessels will be built around the mother ship’s” he said.
“It will cut domestic logistics costs by a third or a half.”
Bambang said the government had allocated Rp 1.5 trillion ($159 million) for the first phase. “For the first phase, we will develop existing ports so they can handle ships of 3,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units,” he said.
The figure is a rough gauge of a ship’s capacity based on the size of a standard 20-foot cargo container.
He added that the government would improve soft infrastructure like the soon to-be-implemented Inaportnet, an online system to ease the processing of exports and imports. “It is in line with our National Single Window Policy.”
The Indonesia National Single Window will allow exporters and importers to register and track all shipments in and out of the country. Processing exports and imports currently involves a lengthy procedure and a lot of paperwork.
An additional Rp 40 trillion are needed to support the program.
“We planned to build a new port in Batam and Sorong for Rp 10 trillion each, and the remaining Rp 20 trillion is for the construction of Jakarta’s second international port, New Priok,” Bambang said.
Poor infrastructure is a major factor in high transportation costs. The Jakarta Globe found in May that one courier service company charged more for goods sent from Jakarta to Riau Island than to Singapore.
The cost of delivering goods by sea in Indonesia rose 18 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2011, data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed.
The government hopes to improve infrastructure through its master plan for economic growth (MP3EI), a massive Rp 4,000 trillion project centered around the development of six economic corridors, where business activity will be concentrated according to the potential and resources of the different areas.
Bastary Pandji Indra, director of the public-private partnership program at the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), said there were 805 projects under the MP3EI so far with a total value of Rp 1,768 trillion.
“Around 51 percent of the investment will come from the private sector, 21 percent under public-private partnerships, state enterprises will make up 18 percent and government 10 percent,” he said. Infrastructure project like roads, ports, airports, railways, will need investment of at least Rp 845 trillion, he added.