How to attract future calls from mega-ships

Future potential: Mr Merk said that Tanjung Priok needs to address a number of problems in order to attract future mega-ship calls Future potential: Mr Merk said that Tanjung Priok needs to address a number of problems in order to attract future mega-ship calls

The International Transport Forum has used Jakarta as an example to illustrate how ports with more mixed performance volumes could attract future calls from very large container ships.

This latest report, which is part of a programme called The Impact of Mega-Ships directed by Olaf Merk, was carried by the ITF at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In it, Mr Merk said that Jakarta’s port, Tanjung Priok’s performance has been mixed due to a number or problems over the years which could and should be addressed.

The port’s ship turnaround time is longer than those of its competitors in Southeast Asia and the hinterland connectivity of Jakarta is poor with problematic hinterland connectivity.

With a draught restriction of 14 metres, it has become more and more difficult for the port to keep its position on the major trades as container ship size increases rapidly.

Remedies

The New Priok Port, the first phase of which came into operation in August 2016, has increased the Jakarta’s attractiveness for large vessels Mr Merk said, but that is no guarantee that these ships will actually call.

So, the report suggests smart phasing in of next phases of the New Priok port project to tackle the challenge of aligning port capacity to demand.

There is also a need to stimulate port investment in other parts of Indonesia because Jakarta’s attractiveness as a port depends partly on the attractiveness of other Indonesian ports for large container ships.

“It will thus be important to coordinate with port investment projects elsewhere in Indonesia, so that other major ports in Indonesia can also accommodate very large container ships. This might be a necessary condition for attracting container mega-ships,” the report says.

Mr Merk also said there is a need to open up domestic coastal freight transport to international shipping lines.

For an island nation like Indonesia, maritime connectivity is of great importance for domestic commerce as well as external trade, but also for domestic trade. Maritime cabotage regulations most likely constrain the development potential of coastal shipping,” he said.

He said that it would be advisable to formulate an exemption from cabotage laws for some types of ships.

Lastly, there is a need to resolve bottlenecks elsewhere in the supply chain to increase efficiency.

Despite considerable political attention being focused on container dwell time and resolving bottlenecks in the port of Jakarta, the report said this should be broadened to bottlenecks elsewhere in the supply chain with an emphasis of the development of dry port capacity.

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