Davao-Bitung Ro-Ro ferry service to start January-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
DAVAO City will soon have its own Roll-on/Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry service directly to Bitung, Indonesia, an executive said on Friday.
Research Education and Institutional Development (Reid) Foundation deputy team leader Marc Ayes, during the 8th General Membership Meeting of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, said they are hoping to begin servicing both exporters of both countries with the Ro-Ro project in January of next year.
Ayes said that with the opening of the Davao-Bitung Roro route, exporters from both countries can benefit from better service like lower transportation cost which is 5 percent to 10 percent cheaper compared to a regular shipment, faster shipping time and safer shipment of products. Bitung is where the international port of Indonesia is located, according to Ayes.
He said they are looking at local commercial products of Mindanao to be exported to Indonesia like timber, corn and housewares.
Ayes said they will also coordinate with Nestle Philippines for its cereal products be exported to Indonesia via this new route since its cereal plant is situated in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City, which is much nearer to Davao. Nestle currently has to ship its cereal products to Manila, then Singapore before reaching Indonesia, according to him.
Bitung has a distance approximately 350 nautical miles away from Davao City or it is as far as Metro Manila is to Cebu City with only more 24 hours travelling time.
Indonesian exporters, on the other hand, are expected to ship out saw, timber and corn to the Philippines.
Ayes said Mindanao shippers and representatives from Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) Philippine Association of Business Advisory Council (Pabac), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) are set to fly to Indonesia within this month for a joint business meeting with Indonesia's port authorities.
Among the issues that will be discussed are the possible shippers, types of cargo, frequency of service, customs clearance, port fees, freight rates, and mutual recognition of chassis. Incentives like lower docking rate will also be ironed out.
He said Super Shuttle Ferry, a Cebu-based shipping line, signified interest to service the new Ro-Ro route next year by providing a cargo ship to exporters. The country has more than 10 Ro-Ro operators mostly are from Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 03, 2012.