• PH-Indonesia shipping route ready for April 28 launch

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    AGRICULTURAL products will be among the first batches of cargo to be transported on the new shipping route to be launched in April between the Philippines and Indonesia, the trade department said.

    Identified by the private sector in Mindanao for initial shipping to Indonesia are animal feeds, fertilizers, construction materials, ice cream, poultry (halal), fresh fruits, and synthetics, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement on Friday.

    The Trade department said that the list of goods to be imported from Indonesia, on the other hand, include matured coconut, copra, corn, feed ingredients, lumber, cement, high-value crops, vegetables, meat, peanuts, aqua products, charcoal, soya, coffee beans and sugar.

    A roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ferry service will begin plying the Davao City-General Santos-Bitung (Indonesia) route on April 28, 2017.

    The MV Super Shuttle RoRo 14, with a vessel capacity of 100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and operated by Asian Marine Transport Corp., will provide a weekly shipping service on the route.

    “These developments in the sub-region complement the ongoing regional efforts toward realizing the Asean Economic Community 2025. It will help increase economic cooperation and will pave way for the promotion of Philippine products especially those coming from the Mindanao region,” said Nora Terrado, DTI undersecretary for industry promotion.

    The Philippines and Indonesia are part of the sub-regional group Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

    The DTI’s Trade and Investment Center in Jakarta said the route is a cheaper and faster alternative to the usual Manila-Jakarta-Bitung route. Direct shipping through the Davao-GenSan-Bitung route will take only one-and-a-half days of sailing as opposed to about three to five weeks of shipping time on the Manila-Jakarta-Bitung route.

    Savings of up to $1,500 (P74,000) per TEU is estimated to be achieved on the new route given its rate of $700 (P34,713) per 20-foot dry container as compared to $2,200 (P109,098) per TEU on the Davao-General Santos to Manila to Manado via the Jakarta route.

    In a feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2012, the GenSan-Bitung route was selected as one of the pilot areas for a RoRo operation within BIMP-EAGA. The study also stressed that the route could be used as a dedicated freight service lane once shipping service requirements are in place.

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