Monday, June 16, 2014

Maersk: Room for service growth within ASEAN countries

Maersk Line Indonesia is expanding its shipping service coverage from eastern Indonesia to Malaysia this year, and leadership there notes there is much room for growth in the region.

Jakob Friis Sorensen, president director of Maersk Line Indonesia, said Thursday that the ASEAN Economic Community is giving shipping firms more opportunity to compete and grow since most of the transportation business in the AEC is conducted by sea.

For example, in order to accommodate growing exports from eastern Indonesia, Maersk launched a direct service that connects that region to its hub port in Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, linking exporters to the global market, Sorensen said.

"We are very proud that two months ago we started shipping direct from Bitung Port in North Sulawesi to Tanjung Pelepas in Johor, Malaysia, which is our main hub to the world," Sorensen said at a conference at the Pullman Hotel in Jakarta.

The new service meant that Maersk could circumvent the congested port of Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, he added, which expedited transit times to major markets like Europe and the U.S. by up to two weeks, or one week on average.

"According to Maersk analysis, direct shipping from Bitung can reduce the logistics costs of exporters by up to 20 percent," said Maersk trade and marketing general manager Muhammad Sofyan. He said the company plans to add other direct routes from Indonesia, as part of its business expansion plan.

Despite opportunities in the AEC for shipping firms, Sofyan said that Indonesia has much work to do on infrastructure development of ports and roads in order to facilitate shipping industry growth.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to promote political and economic cooperation and regional stability. Since then, the nations of Brunei, Vietnam, Laos and Burma have joined the group.

For more of the Jakarta Post story:

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