Strike Hampers Shipments in Indonesia

Strike Hampers Shipments in Indonesia

A strike earlier this week at the leading Indonesia gateway port of Tanjung Priok is continuing to cause truck bottlenecks, according to forwarders.

While discharging and loading activities have continued as normal this week, the strike action on Monday and into Tuesday has impacted trucking operations to and from the port, which is located near the Indonesia capital Jakarta and handles around half of the country’s containers.

“Although the strike has ended the bottleneck issue is now rising because a large number of trucks will have to clear out the delayed shipments,” said Richard Strollo, Managing Director for the South Asia Region at U.S.-based logistics firm BDP International.

Another major forwarder said some companies’ import customs processes had been impacted, but exports were less affected because vessel cut-off times at the port are mid-week and the weekend.

The strike by distribution firms was coordinated by the Indonesian Logistics and Forwarders Association, which claims that Pelindo II, the state-owned operator of Tanjung Priok and a range of other ports in the archipelago, was threatening the viability of its members by setting up its own land transportation subsidiaries, including trucking companies.

Pelindo II denied claims that it had purchased hundreds of trucks and was embarking on a major expansion into the land transportation business. A spokesman said subsidiaries it had recently established would instead provide pilotage and terminal operating services.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) claims Pelindo II acts like a monopoly and is urging the government to reform the port sector to ensure state-owned companies are restricted to providing infrastructure and basic services and do not compete against their customers.

“A port is the vein of thousands of port service supplier companies, but the state-owned port operator still monopolizes it,” said Kadin chairman Suryo Bambang Sulisto. “We need to have a clear mechanism to keep healthy competition. That includes increasing the role of the port authority as the regulator and the government’s representative at the port to have a strong and neutral role.”