PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo are set to launch the Davao City-General Santos City-Bitung, Indonesia sea trade route on Sunday, April 30.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) chairperson secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto, who was a guest during the Habi at Kape, Abreeza Ayala Mall on Wednesday, April 26, said Widodo will be bringing along 16 Indonesian business men, whom local businessmen can network with.
The Davao City-General Santos City-Bitung will be served by M/V Super Shuttle Roll-on, Roll-off 12 owned by Asian Marine Transport Corporation and has a capacity of 500 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). Earlier this month, the vessel docked in Davao City.
Alonto said the route will have a cheaper shipping cost and faster shipping time. The current route, Davao-Manila-Jakarta-Surabaya-Bitung, has a shipping cost of $2,200/TEU or roughly around P109,098/TEU and a shipping time of three to five weeks.
Meanwhile, the Davao-General Santos-Bitung route will cost traders $700/TEU or around P34,713/TEU and a shipping time of 1.5 days, excluding port stay. The new route will give traders savings worth $1,500/TEU or around P74,000/TEU.
Alonto said the sea route is seen to provide trade opportunities between local small and medium businesses and their Indonesian counterparts.
Products that will be traded between local traders here and their counterparts in Indonesia include animal feeds, feed ingredients, meat, aqua products, fertilizers, peanuts, charcoal, food and beverages, halal poultry, coffee beans, fresh fruits, soya, construction materials, high value crops, sugar, copra, ice cream products, synthetics, cordage, lumber, vegetables, corn, and matured coconut.
Alonto said Davao Region will not only benefit from the sea trade route but it will also open opportunities in other areas in Mindanao like the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Earlier, Undersecretary Romeo Montenegro, MinDa deputy executive director, said traders and exporters in Luzon and Visayas have also expressed interests in utilizing the sea trade route.
He said with the opening of the sea trade route, other trade routes could possibly be launched like the Tawi-tawi, Philippines-Tarakan, Indonesia trade route.
Alonto also said they hope that other logistic companies will also serve the Davao City-General Santos City-Bitung, Indonesia sea trade route as it can also potentially further bring down the cost of shipping.