Gateway Container Line Optimism in a ‘Rocky Road’ Forwarding Business

Hesty Rosmawaty, President Director of Gateway Container Line


Though there was a drop in forwarding business last year, but Gateway Container Line (GCL) still enjoyed a positive growth. Some more serious pressures will force this sector to pass a ‘rocky road’ this year, but GCL is still optimistic

The slow global economy in 2019 is predicted to continue in 2020. In addition to the leftovers of trade war effects between USA and China, new case of coronavirus outbreak even make it come into a more serious situation. The trade data of export import in the first month (January 2020) are some evidence and indicators.

Indonesia’s export import in January was unsatisfying. Export was down 7.16% from the previous month and by 3.71% from January last year, to $13.41 billion. Import with total of $14.28 billion declined 1.6% from December and 4.78% from January last year, according to Central Bureau of Statistics BPS.

In view of the trend and the massive impact of the coronavirus in China, the trade activity might be worse than last year. Indonesia’s total exports last year fell by 6.9% to $168 billion, while imports shrank 9.5% to $171 billion, BPS said.

No doubt, the drop of trade activities has certainly affected and will influence the transportation, logistics, and forwarding activities, the business unit that hang much on trade volume. But, how far and how business players including forwarders anticipate the situation?

“It is true, compared to 2018, the forwarding business last year experienced a decrease,” Hesty Rosmawaty, President Director of Gateway Container Line, explained in a discussion with Indonesia Shipping Gazette.

Gateway Container Line (GCL) is an Indonesia’s freight forwarder leading in consolidation service in the country.

Hesty admitted the slow global economy in 2019 has significantly affected the forwarding business last year, while for the Indonesia’s forwarders, the national political situation was also an additional business challenge.

“Some forwarders have taken benefits from the substituted market, the new market of Vietnam and Thailand, but it did not help the forwarding business at all. Surely, there was a drop of forwarding activities due to the drop of volume from China,” she said.

The slow global economy and the trade war had automatically reduced production and trade volume, making forwarding business suffer due to the drop in cargo delivery volume, according to Hesty.

(How those challenges affect forwarding business and how forwarders anticipate them last years and to anticipate the effects of coronavirus outbreak this year can be read in full version article on Indonesia Shipping Gazette Magazine, March Issue)

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