Indonesian president Joko Widodo yesterday officially inaugurated a new terminal at the nation’s flagship port, Tanjung Priok, and used the occasion to urge faster, greater maritime infrastructure across the giant Southeast Asian archipelago or else the country risks being left behind by others.
“We cannot delay the development of modern ports any longer. This supports trade flows and investment in this country,” Widodo said at the opening of New Priok Container Terminal (NPCT) 1 in Kalibaru, the first of five phases of an expansion of Priok port that are to be completed in 2019.
Logistics costs in Indonesia are up to 2.5 times higher than in neighboring countries, Widodo said.
“If we’re slow we’ll be left behind,” he said.
Widodo came to power a couple of years ago, promising to create a so-called maritime highway to connect the disparate nation which boasts more than 12,000 islands.
Widodo has been keen to get ship turnaround times cut at Tanjung Priok. When he took power in 2014, dwell times were up to a week, a figure that has been halved in the last couple of years. Widodo stressed yesterday he wants to see turnaround times cut to less than three days.
The new 1.5m teu capacity terminal is run by local firm Pelindo II, as well as PSA, NYK and Mitsui. It becomes the first terminal in Indonesia capable to handling ships of 10,000 teu capacity.