Bitung earmarked as Indonesian hub
Friday, 17 August 2012 | 11:00
Bitung Port in Indonesia has been operating since 1955 – but thanks to the Indonesian government’s overall masterplan, it may well become an international hub port by 2015, helping to ease traffic through overburdened Singapore.
The port argues that it is strategically placed to be Indonesia's gateway for cargo traffic – it has easy access to the Asia Pacific, Australia and Europe.
A port spokesperson said to Port Strategy: “If vessels are encouraged to call at Bitung it will save 45% in operational costs rather than transitting to Singapore, which is overcrowded.”
He added that the reason why the Indonesian Government has earmarked Bitung to be the hub port instead of other ports such as Belawan/Tanjung Priok or Batam is because mineral resources and raw materials are located nearby.
The port wants to carve a larger niche for itself and improvements in local infrastructure may just help this become a reality.
There is talk in the local press in Jakarta of the development of an alternative road route from Palu to Parigi in central Sulawesi. The route aims to open up access to the Soekarno-Hatta International Port in Makassar and Bitung Port in North Sulawesi.
Shipping operators are already eyeing the area as an attractive prospect. Indonesian shipping company, Ciptadua Sarana, is opening a new direct shipping service between Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province and several key areas in southern Mindanao - connecting the three key ports with trading areas in Manado, Bitung, Tahuna and Talaud in Indonesia.
This is currently waiting on government clearance – but Bitung or Manado is being billed as the starting point for the route.
Bitung’s main exports are coconut oil, furniture, fresh tuna and canned fish, spices and charcoal. The USA, Europe, China and India use the port as a hub for machinery, spares and heavy equipmen imports.
Source: Port Strategy
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