Widodo orders minister to shorten dwell time at ports

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli to shorten the dwelling or unloading time at seaports to three to four days.

The President issued the special order during a plenary cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office.

“The head of state gave the special assignment to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs to shorten the unloading time, which so far is still over five days,” Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said.

Anung said President Widodo had also asked Ramli to finish the assignment as soon as possible.

“The President has given him until October to ensure that the unloading time at ports is shortened to three to four days,” the cabinet secretary said.

In response to the assignment, Minister Ramli said his team will discuss the issue next week.

He added that he was aware of the rampant mafia practices at seaports so the effort to shorten the unloading time would be a result of a coordinated effort among various channels.

“There are many mafia groups operating at ports. So we will ask for cooperation from the National Police chief, the Indonesian National Defence Forces commander and others,” the minister stated.

The government will also try to reduce the duration for loading and unloading goods, known, as dwelling time, at Indonesian ports to only four days, he added.

“We want to reduce the dwelling time at ports to three and a half to four days. This will be realized soon, and the timeline for it must be decided,” former Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Indroyono Susilo had said earlier this month.

Susilo had made the statement after attending a meeting chaired by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Sofyan Djalil.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, and Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan.

The plan to expedite the dwelling time is expected to be finalized by October or December this year, Susilo added. The activities to be carried out include simplifying and easing bureaucratic processes by reducing the number of required surveyor reports.

“We will reduce the number of surveyor reports required, particularly unnecessary ones. A team from the excise office and port authorities will tighten pre-customs and post-customs processes. If it can be done, they will be completed within a day. We will also try to prevent goods from piling up at ports,” he stated.

Moreover, Djalil noted that the four-day dwelling time target would be implemented by December at the latest. To make improvements in this service, good coordination among relevant ministries and agencies was needed.

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