Mon, 26 May 2003

JICT begins direct call shipment services

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) began on Sunday operating its direct call shipment services, which would allow cargo shipments from the country to go directly to far- flung overseas destinations without having to make a transfer at ports in Singapore or Malaysia.

The new service will allow Indonesian exporters to save money and time in their cargo shipment.

Previously, most Indonesian exports had to be transported by smaller feeder vessels which unload the cargo on to larger "mother vessels" berthed in Singapore or Malaysia, mainly because of the inability of local ports to accommodate large ships.

JICT president W.S. Wirjawan told reporters that the new services would allow local exporters to save between US$50 and $60 for each twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) container.

"For example, if JICT receives three vessels every week with a 2,000-TEU capacity, it serves about 300,000 TEUs per year," he said. "Just multiply 300,000 by $50, the result is Indonesian exporters will collectively save about $15 million a year."

JICT now has seven operating berths in its Terminal I in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. One berth can accommodate seven vessels a week.

Meanwhile, a study made by the government estimated that each year Indonesian exporters were losing around Rp 6.3 trillion ($715 million) in double-handling costs in Singapore and Malaysia.

JICT has spent some $70 million to upgrade its terminal facilities so that the direct call service can be made.

This year the company will purchase more cranes and trucks, develop its information technology system and build a new berth.

Currently three international shipping lines including CMA- CGM, Grand Alliance and AAA Service have agreed to add Jakarta to their international rotation.

The first international shipper that berthed its vessel at JICT terminal on Sunday was France shipping company CMA-CGM whose route includes Singapore, Malaysia, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Indonesia.

Wirjawan said that JICT had invited other companies to use the services. By the end of this year, JICT hopes to add at least five others to its current list of three shippers which have used the new terminal.

The company has said that the JICT quay facility would reach a span of 2.5 kilometers with 20 cranes operating and 100 hectares of storage space.

Wirjawan added that it would enable the terminal to enhance its installed container capacity to 3 million TEUs from the current 2.3 million TEUs.

JICT, formerly state-owned, is essentially run more like a private firm as 51 percent of its shares are owned by Hong Kong- based Hutchison Port Holding Group and 48.9 percent by the state- owned seaport company PT Pelindo II.