Transportation Ministry strengthens maritime connectivity: Supporting maritime independency

This article has been translated by PwC Indonesia as part of our Indonesia Infrastructure News Service. PwC Indonesia has not checked the accuracy of, and accepts no responsibility for the content.

Investor Daily: Kemenhub perkuat konektivitas laut: Dukung kemandirian maritim

31 August 2020

By: Muawwan Daelami


Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry is continuously supporting port construction and intensifying the maritime highway program to optimise the role of the sea transportation sector in realising maritime independency.

Besides focusing on constructing Patimban Port (West Java), Kijing Port (West Kalimantan), and Gilimas Terminal (West Nusa Tenggara), this year, the budget of the Transportation Ministry, which came from issuing securities and the state budget, will be allocated to construct Seba Port in East Nusa Tenggara, a light house in Tarakan (North Kalimantan), as well as intensify the maritime highway.

“[We are establishing] the maritime highway to lower price disparity in eastern Indonesia and to bring balance,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said during a webinar on Transportation last week.

In the future, Kupang will be set as a hub for East Nusa Tenggara and southern Maluku. Commercial ships heading to Kupang will be provided so that the maritime highway can make sure that the price of nine basic needs are affordable.

Moreover, the Transportation Minister said that the President was facilitating livestock distribution through maritime highway. For example, millions of cattle from East Nusa Tenggara have been shipped to East Java. During Eid al-Adha this year, cattle had been shipped to Dumai through the maritime highway. Ships are utilised to distribute livestock from East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, so the economic potential of the two regions will improve.

The Transportation Ministry provides 110 pioneer shipping routes to serve people who will come home to Maluku or arrive from Papua, Ambon, and other eastern Indonesia regions with affordable prices.

Previously, during the state address on 14 August, President Joko Widodo asked the Transportation Ministry to make a breakthrough amid the crisis by making a leap for advancement, especially in the transportation sector. Hence, the Transportation Minister asked all players in transportation and stakeholders to end the pandemic and collaborate to maintain the unity of Indonesia.

Tap private companies

Sea Transportation Director General of the Transportation Ministry, R. Agus H. Purnomo also said that the government was committed to improve the connectivity of sea transportation in eastern Indonesia, isolated islands, and outermost regions to balance economic growth in all regions. Until now, the highest economic growth is still in Java, followed by Sumatra, Kalimantan, and then eastern regions.

“So, in line with the focus of sea transportation strategic issues from 2020 to 2024, we will prepare facilities and infrastructure to support connectivity, integration, and equality. The sea is vastly available to reach all of Indonesia,” Agus H. Purnomo said.

To realise this goal, Agus said that human resources, facilities and infrastructure, and funding are required. Regarding funding, Agus continued that the government was welcoming private companies to participate using the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, the cooperation in utilisation scheme, and the joint operation scheme.

In terms of the institution, it is also continuously improved so that services can run smoothly. Regulations will also be reviewed.

According to Agus, there are still many ports that cannot be docked by large ships. Hence, those ports must be upgraded, and facilities and infrastructure must be provided so that the ports can be docked by large cargo ships.

“There are 28 main ports from Sabang to Merauke. Moreover, there are 164 hub ports and regional feeder ports, as well as many local ports, that serve travel between provinces. We are planning to construct 1,321 ports gradually according to their priority,” he revealed.

He also revealed that almost 40% to 50% of trades in the world are shipped through waters connected to Indonesia. 90% are shipped by sea and 40% go through Indonesian waters, so it is our mutual task to grasp this opportunity as best as we can.

“So, we will build ports that support industrial estates, so the cost will truly be efficient. We are also preparing the maritime highway to support the availability of goods in the west and in the east, according to the needs,” Agus said.

He also mentioned that there were 26 maritime highway routes that are now operational, starting from the west from Sumatra to Anambas Islands. The routes in eastern Indonesia have also operated normally. According to Agus, existing routes can be utilised for players so that the economy can grow and create jobs.

Besides the maritime highway, the Transportation Ministry is also preparing the 110 pioneer routes program that is focused to carry passengers. Maritime highway is utilised to ship goods, while pioneer routes will be utilised to carry passengers and few goods.

Then, to support coastal regions, regions with many islands, and border regions, 24 transportations, such as the public service obligation of PT Pelni, are prepared with affordable tariffs to serve ports in Indonesia, especially in outermost regions, regions with many islands, and border regions.

Moreover, in border areas with high potential for fish that have yet to be reached by commercial shops, river containers will also be prepared to carry fish, especially in North Maluku, so small players and fishermen can sell their fish at an appropriate price.

“We are also supporting ports in Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, and Likupang so that they can be reached by sea transportation by providing pioneer routes, maritime highway, and bottom glass ships that we are constructing and will utilise as an example in Labuan Bajo and Likupang,” he said.


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