Tue, 05 Apr 2011

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Thousands of trucks wanting to cross the Sunda Strait using roll on-roll-off boats from Merak harbor in Cilegon, Banten, to Bakaheuni Harbor in Lampung, South Sumatra must once again line up 11 kilometer-log. From Tempo’s observation, until 02:00 PM yesterday, the line stretched from Tangerang-Merak highway, exactly in kilometer 94 or 11 kilometer from the Merak harbor entrance.

The First Class Banten harbor administrator, Baptis Soegiharto, said that to overcome the problem of long lines, there is a need for 24 large-capacity boats. There are currently only 12 boats in Merak-Bakaheuni that has such a capacity. “This is far from ideal,” he said yesterday.

During extreme weather, the wind speed in Sunda Strait can reach 10-20 knots, with waves as high as 2.5 meters. The secretary of PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry’s bureau chief, Kristin Hutabarat, said in such a condition, it is very difficult for the ro-ro boats to berth. Customers have been asked to delay their departure and vehicles on the way were asked to wait in rest areas.