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Tanjung Perak, Belawan ports under pressure to match Tanjung Priok's dwell time

Tanjung Perak, Belawan ports under pressure to match Tanjung Priok's dwell time
Indonesia's Transportation Ministry has set its sights on cutting down the dwell time at other major ports besides the main gateway of Tanjung Priok, such as East Java’s Tanjung Perak and North Sumatra’s Belawan, as it comes under pressure after President Joko Widodo recently slammed the performance of the those two seaports in particular.

At the opening of a new terminal in Tanjung Priok last week, Widodo noted that at the country's main gateway, average dwell time has come down to 3.7 days from 4.7 days, while the dwell time at many other ports, including Belawan and Tanjung Perak, ranges from six to eight days.

Local media reported that Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi held a flurry of weekend meetings with state-owned port operators Pelindo I and Pelindo III, which oversee Belawan and Tanjung Perak, respectively, as well as the Finance Ministry’s customs and excise director general, to meet the president's demands. Widodo has made lowering logistics costs through improving port dwell times a centrepiece of his transportation policy.

“We expect the major ports to operate 24 hours a day with more competitive fees. There should also be a more effective and efficient tracking mechanism,” Budi reiterated.

Meanwhile customs and excise director-general Heru Pambudi said his department planned to accelerate the development of a hub-and-spoke logisitics model within Indonesia by increasing the number of bonded logistics centres (PLB) to 50 from current 22 by the end of this year.

"By diluting the cumulation at the major ports and switching it into the spokes at the PLB, we hope to cut the dwell time,” Heru said.

Pelindo III president-director Orias Moedak pointed out that it had prepared additional land at the Mirah and Nilam port terminals near Tanjung Perak to move containers from the inner ring of the port.

This was however slammed by Indonesian Logistics and Forwarders Association (ALFI) head Yukki Nugrahawan Hanafi who said, “if they just move the goods from the first ring to the second ring of the port, that does not reduce the dwell time. It merely reduces the YOR [Yard Occupancy Ratio]".

Hanafi pointed out that the Ministry needed to ensure that the customs office and banks were also open 24 hours at the port to facilitate the efficient import of goods.

Separately, Tanjung Priok Port has been hailed as an example to follow, with the average dwell time currently standing at 3 to 3.2 days.

This has been achieved through the simplification of permit procedures at the port’s one-stop integrated service office over the last two years and other ports have been urged to follow suit.

“We want major ports, such as North Sumatra’s Belawan Port, East Java’s Perak Port and Soekarno-Hatta Port in South Sulawesi to follow the system of Tanjung Priok Port to cut dwell times,” Budi said.

He also urged the four state-owned port operators, Pelindo I, Pelindo II, Pelindo III and Pelindo IV, to speed up services while also procuring more cranes and providing 24-hour services to shorten dwell times at major ports and meet the president's target of no more than 2.5 days.