Indonesia is progressing towards realizing its dream of making Tanjung Priok Port a major international transshipment hub and taking a slice of Singapore’s business pie. The port of Singapore handled 30.59 million TEUs of cargo in 2016, almost one-seventh of total global container transshipment. In comparison, in 2016 Tanjung Priok loaded and unloaded 6.2 million TEUs of cargo, out of a total capacity of about 8 million TEUs. Yet, Indonesia’s largest port aims to be able to accommodate 12 million TEUs by 2019.
As to achieve their ambitious goals the government and state port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II have taken up several measures such as building a new toll road to facilitate access to the port, expanding the port’s capacities and accelerating cargo handling procedures. For example, Pelindo II allocated USD 150 million for the maintenance of berthing areas that are already 16 meters deep and for transforming the remaining areas from their current depths of 12 meters to 14 meters. The transformation, which will allow the port to accommodate more ships larger than 8,000 TEUs, is expected to be complete in August.
The first affirmation of these measures followed last Sunday, when the government, along with French container shipping firm CMA CGM Group, launched the first Jakarta-Los Angeles direct route. The route promises faster shipping and lower costs and is an important step in transforming Tanjung Priok into an international shipping hub. However, further measures such as competitive services and rates are needed to compete with nearby ports, especially Singapore.