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International Transport Forum urges Jakarta to ease cabotage laws

If Indonesian authorities want to see their dreams of more mainline box calls become reality cabotage laws will need changing, a new report from the International Transport Forum suggests. The 40-page report from the OECD-linked forum looks at Jakarta in the era of the mega vessel. Jakarta – and a host of other Indonesian ports – are currently undergoing significant expansion, yet for the most part they are merely feeder ports when it comes to the main tradelanes.

“Restrictive cabotage laws most likely constrain the attractiveness of Jakarta and other Indonesian ports as a direct port of call for global shipping companies,” the report states.

A feasible way to open up cabotage, the report suggests, is to gradually introduce exemptions for certain categories of ships suchg as mega boxships.

The report looks at other issues Jakarta faces in terms of attracting mainline calls including bottlenecks, something the current administration has been working hard to rectify. One possible way to reduce bottlenecks in the supply chain according to the OECD body could be the wider use of dry ports.

Jakarta’s new port – known as New Priok or Kalibaru – is a two-phase development that will spawn a 12.5m teu facility with depths alongside of 16 m when completed in 2023.

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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