Indonesia takes hard-line stance to ease Tanjung Priok port congestion


Tanjung Priok portThe Indonesian government announced it will impose stringent measures and harsh penalties to hasten cargo flow at Tanjung Priok, the country’s main shipping gateway that is getting flak for congestion and long dwell times.

Chief Economics Minister Chairul Tanjung told local media the government will take steps to cut dwell time at the port from the current 6.2 days to four days by year-end.

These measures include more stringent monitoring of unclaimed containers, encouraging 24-hour operation of port stakeholders, implementing an IT-based system for paperwork, and fast-tracking all ongoing construction projects at the port, reports the Jakarta Globe.

Chairul said the administration will promote awareness of the new measures over the next three months and levy criminal charges for noncompliance.

He added that the government will issue soon a new regulation on overstaying containers and take action against exporters and importers whose containers are found to be loitering at the port.

The government also instructed state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) to reserve parking spaces for trucks to relieve traffic at Tanjung Priok, reports The Jakarta Post.

There will also be moves to implement an IT system for port-related paperwork.

Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono has been tasked to speed up construction projects at the port, currently in the midst of a US$4.5-billion expansion effort.

Richard Joost Lino, president director of Pelindo II, said the first of three terminals being built at the port is 60 percent complete and scheduled to open by mid-2015.

As the country gears up for the Ramadhan and next month’s Idul Fitri, the government said it will facilitate the inspection of containers from three days to one and open a second container warehouse in anticipation of the further congestion these holidays will bring.

Customs and Excise Director General Agung Kuswandono said the key to a shorter dwelling time is to improve the port’s IT system, including introducing a pre-clearance system that will enable documents to be processed before the cargo arrives.

The government is targeting an eventual dwell time of at least three days to enable the port to move up to world-class category.

In related news, Pelindo III said it is now only waiting for the electric power and more cranes to be brought in before launching the new Teluk Lamong multipurpose terminal in East Java into full operation in August.

The terminal, now 90 percent complete, will help ease congestion in the country’s second largest water gateway, Tanjung Perak Port.

The Teluk Lamong port is a four-stage development project that is expected to be completed in  2030 and has a total investment of IDR20 trillion (US$1.7 billion).

Photo: CIFOR