Indonesia's government has signalled that its new Patimban Port project in West Java is slated to service the automotive industry and expects it to boost the country's automotive exports in the future.

With just a few days to go before a decision needs to be made, Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi looks to be the leading contender for the construction and operation of Indonesia's Patimban Port.

More impetus has been given to efforts to cut down dwelling time in Indonesian ports, with the government planning to roll out another policy package later this month that will address the problem, local reports said.

Indonesia is hopeful that it will be able to cut dwell times to two days this year from about 2.9 days in November 2016.

Indonesian state shipping firm Pelni expects net profit to rise by about half this year to IDR305bn (US$22.7m) from around IDR200bn in 2016, after the introduction of its freight liner service on the maritime highway and greater cost efficiency measures, local reports said.

One of the most serious ferry accidents in Indonesia in recent years has resulted the confirmed deaths of 23 with at least 17 others still missing. The Zahro Express, which was carrying New Years' Day revellers to the resort island of Pulau Tidung in Jakarta's Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands) area caught fire and exploded at 9.20am after departing from the Muara Angke Port.

Indonesian authorities have nabbed six suspected pirates in the waters off Batam Island. Local media reported that the alleged pirates operating in the Malacca Straits were caught by Western Fleet Quick Response Team from the Indonesian Navy’s Tanjung Pinang base earlier this week.

Indonesian oil and gas shipping firm Berlian Laju Tanker (BLT) said its cost-efficiency efforts had helped to cushion the company from further drops in financial performance in the third quarter, local reports said.

Indonesian shipping company Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi has set aside $130m for capital expenditure next year to buy eight new vessels, local media reported.

Rickmers Shipmanagement has won a new client in the shape of Samudera Indonesia for a pair of bulk carriers.

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