Indonesian president vows to tackle port inefficiencies

Indonesian president vows to tackle port inefficiencies

Jakarta: In an effort to cut logistics costs across the archipelago, Jakarta is looking at reforms to pre-customs clearance. Transportation minister Ignasius Jonan said he was determined to cut turnaround times at the nation’s ports, as per president Joko Widodo’s guidelines.

“The biggest challenge that we face [in cutting turnaround times] is improving efficiency in the pre-customs clearance process, as this involves many institutions,” the minister said on Wednesday.

Red tape in the pre-customs clearance process will be simplified, coordinating economic minister Sofyan Djalil said on Wednesday.

“For example, goods arriving here are verified by the customs office first before they are passed to be put into quarantine. We may reverse the process,” the minister said after his meeting with Jokowi.

Coordinating maritime affairs minister Indroyono Susilo said steps were being taken to prioritise seaport efficiency. Indonesia currently ranks among the least efficient nations in Asia for ports.

Indroyono said the president will issue a presidential instruction soon integrating responsible ministries and government institutions to improve coordination and boost efficiency at ports across Indonesia. A port efficiency taskforce is being created.

“Within the past week, I’ve noticed that the responsible ministries and government institutions already have a keenness to implement the reforms,” Indroyono said.

The president wants to cut turnaround times to three to four days. Since coming to power, Joko has set about revitalising the country’s maritime infrastructure as part of his avowed maritime highway campaign that will see the massive country of more than 12,000 islands better linked up by ships.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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