Priok Port a Shambles: Agus

Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo has criticized the layout of the Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port, saying that shipments spend too much time in transit, and called on the operator to reorganize it.

Tanjung Priok is the busiest port in the country, accounting for more than 50 percent of export and import activity.

Agus said the current dwelling time — the length of time cargo sits in a terminal’s in-transit storage area — is an average of 6.7 days and “not ideal.”

He added that such delays reduce Indonesia’s competitiveness against its neighbors. “What needs to be redesigned is the layout of the port,” the minister said. “From our point of view, there are too many entities doing business in the port.”

He said the dwelling locations are spread out all over the port, causing problems for customs and excise officers trying to do their jobs.

“The port is not really sterile because there are too many non-port businesses here,” he said.

Hatta Rajasa, the coordinating minister for economics affairs, echoed Agus’s complaint, saying that the condition in the port had not changed much since he ended his term as transportation minister in 2009.

“In the Priok port, you can find anything from photocopy service providers to welders,” Hatta said.

Agung Kuswandono, the director general for customs and excise, said the Tanjung Priok is not sterile because part of the port serves as a public road.

Additionally, he said, 21 different entities operate in the port. These companies have offices in the port, exacerbating the chaos that is common there.

“Ideally, in a port, there is only one entity, but currently there are 21,” he said. “This makes it seem like the customs and excise officers are serving 21 different ports.”

The customs and excise office at the Finance Ministry is working to create an automatic gate system to speed up the process and lessen the waiting time.

The office also introduced an integrated physical examination area in a bid to speed up the customs service. This facility is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Tanjung Priok port as a whole is operated by state-controlled Pelindo II. But with regard to the container port, Pelindo II has joined forces with partners or hired companies to operate different parts.

Pelindo II is undertaking a project to expand the Tanjung Priok port by building the Kalibaru Port, also known as the “New Priok Port,” which is located seven kilometers west of Tanjung Priok.

The total investment needed for the two-part project is $4 billion. The first phase would cost $2.5 billion, with the second costing $1.5 billion.

Construction of the first phase is expected to be completed in 2014, while the second phase is set to commence in 2018 and be completed in 2022.

The first phase will be the construction of three container terminals with a combined capacity of 4.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), two fuel oil terminals and a gas terminal with a combined capacity of 9 million tons per year.

In the second phase, Pelindo II will add four more terminals, bringing the total container handling capacity of the Priok Port to 12.5 million TEUs.

Strong domestic economic growth has increased activity at the Tanjung Priok port, with more goods flowing through it.

Inefficient design and layout, and the lack of development has caused the port to become overcrowded, resulting in the slowing of shipments being processed.

Businesses say the current operations of the port cause delays that shrink profit margins.

Pelindo II was given the contract to develop Kalibaru Port after a bidding process was abruptly canceled a year ago.


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