What Makes those ‘Big Boys’ Come to Panjang Port

– The increasing volume of agro-industry products and trade can be concluded as reasons why Maersk Line and CMA CGM, open direct calls to Panjang Port

– Continuous improvement in port facilities and system plus the strategy of port operator IPC to play role as a trade facilitator has supported it so.

The increasing volume of agro-industry products and trade can be concluded as reasons why two ‘big boys’ – the leading players of global container shipping, Maersk Line and CMA CGM, – open direct calls to Panjang Port. On the other hand, continuous improvement in port facilities and system plus the strategy of port operator IPC to play role as a trade facilitator has supported it so.

For Port of Panjang, its container terminal in particular, this week is a milestone, a momentum. Two global container players – the biggest shipping line in the world Maersk Line and the third biggest CMA CGM started their first services.Maersk Line Intra Asia (IA1) began its first service through the first call of MV Northen Defender, the biggest vessel ever called at this port with LOA of 231 m, on Monday, March 11. On the next day, (Tuesday, March 12), CMA CGM feeder service started its new feeder service through the first call of CMA CGM Jakarta, a 1,100 TEUS containership.

Routing Jakarta (Tanjung Priok) – Panjang –Jakarta –  Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Hong Kong – Yantian – Kaoshuing – Ningbao – Shanghai – Busan – Vladvostock – Fishport, Maersk’s IA1 will call weekly to Panjang and deploy seven vessels over 4,000 TEUS.

CMA CGM’s feeder service meanwhile, will route Singapore – Jakarta – Panjang- Singapore. “We will come here every Tuesday,” said Farid Belbouab, President Director of CMA CGM Indonesia, on the ceremony of the first call at Panjang Container Terminal (TPK Panjang).

Attracting Factors

According to data, in the first two months of 2019 (January and February), the throughput of Panjang Container Terminal (TPK Panjang) and the volume of some leading commodities experienced an increase.

TPK Panjang throughput during the period reached 19,232 TEUS, a 24% increase year on year, from 15,468 TEUS in January-February 2018. Each month throughput also showed an increase, by 32.84% in January to 7,734 from 5,823 TEUS in January 2018 and by 21.48% in February, to 11.498 from 9.645 TEUS in 2018, according to data from IPC TPK.

The export volume of leading agricultural products, like coffee, CPO, rubber, shrimp and other seafood products were on an increasing trend, after suffering a drop late last year.

“There is an increasing trade volume from this province to some Asia countries. That is why we (Maersk Line) open Intra-Asia direct service from this port, in addition to the improvement of port facilities and port service system, of course,” Amir Murtono, Maersk Line Marine Operation Team Leader for Jakarta and Panjang, told Indonesia Shipping Gazette.

“That are among other factors why we extend our IA1 service to this port, in addition to our group big strategies to expand service coverage,” Amir further said.Amir explained, Maersk will deploy as many as seven containerships of over 4,000 TEUS for this route.


An increasing trade volume is also a reason behind CMA CGM move to expand its Singapore feeder service to this port. But, for this French shipping company, this is also a part of its commitment to encourage the Indonesia’s trade in general and a real action of its trade partnership agreement with Indonesia’s leading fruit and beverage producer and exporter Great Giant Pineapple Corp (PT GGP).

“We have shown our commitment to support the shipping industry from this country and encourage the trade (export) since we started our direct calls from Jakarta to USA and Europe. And now, here we are. We open feeder service from this port to support the export from this province. This proves our serious commitment to encourage export from this country,” said Farid.

“Look at this vessel. This is Indonesian flag and she was run by all Indonesian crews,” Farid further explained, showing how CMA CGM commits to maximize all Indonesian resources.

Farid is so optimistic with the continuity of this service since CMA CGM signed a long-term partnership with PT GGP.

“We are so sure with the export potencies that can feed our vessel. Furthermore, this vessel is also designed to accommodate more reefer containers required by the commodities from this province. Furthermore, our partner GGP Corp has expressed their target to increase the export volume. We, CMA CGM, with the character of our vessel that can safely carry their commodities and our worldwide network, are ready to export and distribute their products,” Farid said further.

Amending the views, PT GGP Marketing Director Yosep Lay explained its company’s increasing target both in production and export, but demanding a fast and scheduled shipping and distribution to its potential market in the world.

“We target to increase production volume of our leading commodities of banana and pineapple, both green fruits and their related beverage industry products. We also target to increase our export volume and market coverage. But, what we need is a faster cycle time of delivery and guarantee to keep our products fresh. That is why we do partnership with CMA CGM,” Yosep explained.

In addition, according to Yosep, the corporate also planned to extensively produce other fruits, in addition to its existing leading commodities of banana and pineapple. “This is to encourage export from this province,” he said.

This year (2019), PT GGP targets to export more than 23,000 TEUS or around 400 TEUS per week, from 17,000 in 2018. “Once again what we need is a faster and safe delivery from here until our customers’ door. We expect a fast shipping process and of course a fast a safer loading process at the port,” said Yosep.

Facilities Support

The process of loading unloading of the two vessels during their first calls at this port run for less than 24 hours, thanks for the facilities and systems applied by TPK Panjang.

Both Amir and Farid appreciate it, saying they need a faster process to keep their schedule on time in the next destination (ports).

“We have to finish the loading unloading process in less than 24 hours. Fortunately, it had completely finished faster,” said Amir.

“Since we are feeder to Singapore, the loading unloading should run faster, so we connect with our mother vessel schedule in Singapore,” added Farid.

IPC TPK Panjang Manager Suswantoro affirmed it, saying it needs only seven hours to load and unload more than 350 TEUS cargoes from the CMA CGM Jakarta. “With the facilities we have now, we can do it faster,” he said.

Echoing the view, IPC TPK Operation Director Heru Satrio said that such fast process is achieved following the improvement the corporate has continuously done. Heru, said the corporate has added one quay container crane (QCC) as well as 5 head trucks and chassis.

“In addition, the corporate has also invested in provision of CFS (container freight station) inside the port,” he said.

Commending those big shipping lines calls, General Manager of Panjang Port Drajatat Sulistyo, confidently affirmed those achievements follow the new strategy the corporate has taken into account.

“As I said for several times, we now act as trade facilitator. In the meaning to say that we encourage to support the industry growth on one hand, while on the other hand we invite more and more shipping lines to come.”

“To shipping lines, we help to introduce what potential products are from this province, while on the same time we improve our port facilities and infrastructure,” Drajat said.


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