To an archipelago country like Indonesia, inter-insular connectivity and overland transportation were most important. Moreover one of Indonesia's weak spot in competitiveness was poor logistics system. In this case, poor infra structure support would affect domestic economis growth, which worsen competitiveness of national products. Therefore harbor experts could play their role in developing harbors at home.
The Association of Indonesian Harbor Experts [HAPI] rated Pelindo must spur on development of sea transportation system to keep up with growing sea transportation at home. Chairman of HAPI Wahyono Bimarso stated in Jakarta on Tuesday [6/5] that the growing traffic of passengers and goods must be accompanied by development of harbors and ships. Today harbor infra structure seemed outdated and inadequate.
Very frequently harbor infra structure was having problem such as the Ferry Crossing shuttle service in Merak, Banten which very frequently had infra structure damages; a condition which would degrade quality service for passengers. The Government must have a long-term concept to develop loading and unloading system of goods in seaports including small harbors.
The Central Board of Statistics [BPS] disclosed development of sea transportation in terms of passengers number January- March 2014: the number of sea passengers at home was posted at 3.0 million people, an increase of 76.71 % against same period last year. increasing number of passengers was posted in Tanjung Perak Harbor and Belawan, i.e. 42.03% and 0.4%. On the contrary, the number of passengers in Balikpapan, Tanjung Priok and Makassar harbors dropped by 29.12%, 25.29% and 3.76% respectively.
Meanwhile the volume of goods transported through January-March 2014 came to 56.0 million tons, an increase of 12.32% against same period of 2013. Increased volume of goods transported was posted in Makassar harbor 25.02%. On the contrary the volume of goods transported in Balikpapan, Panjang, Tanjung Perak and Tanjung Priok harbors dropped by 23.66%, 15.78%, and 3.71% respectively.
She stated that building of infra stricture which was not being run seriously by the Government was the root of logistic problem. She elaborated that burden on the road today was extraordinarily heavy. Road damage that happened during natural disaster or hometown rush during !du Fitri - such as cracked road surface or bridge damage were disturbances to logistics. She disclosed that logistics infra structure like harbors became most important to businesspeople. The Government seemed to have no commitment to improve things.
Meanwhile according to Ina Primiana Syinar, a CORE Researcher and Professor of the University of Pajadjaran Bandung, upgrading of infra structure could lessen logistic cost burden on GDP. She stated that although Indonesia's Logistics Performance Index [LPI] increased, the Government must still build and upgrade infra structure such was because Indonesia's logistics-to-GDP ratio was high. i.e. 24.6%
To improve the condition, the Government must accelerate renovation and upgrading process of harbors and transportation system, because this sector constituted 60% of production cost. She remarked that to improve logistics cost, there must be repositioning of industrial strategy and fostering interinstitutional coordination as this was allegedly the root of national logistics system.
Inna rated that the Government needed to appoint a coordinator to synchronize all ministries/ institutions so there would be no one going his own way like it was happening today. Strengthening of competitiveness, she said, was needed toward implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community [AEC] in 2015 and Regional Comprehensive Partnership [RCEP] in 2016. (SS)