MINDANAO Development Authority (Minda) called on traders to explore the Davao-General Santos-Bitung, Indonesia shipping route in a bid to help sustain the shipping line.
In the speech of Minda officer-in-charge lawyer Nathaniel Dalumpines, delivered by Minda director for investment promotions and international relation office Ollie Dagala during the 5th Davao Investment Conference yesterday, he reported that the shipping line has started its trial sail last June 16 and is scheduled to dock in Davao City Kudos Port on July 6 this year.
“We are now trying to revive it in the partnership with Reefer Filipinas. Let us help sustain this route, which puts premium on Mindanao’s strategic location to the BIMP-Eaga (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - East Asean Growth Area), and the larger Asean,” he said.
Reefer Filipinas is a Manila-based company recently established to support the Philippines in reviving the said route. The company will be utilizing a conventional type vessel with load capacity of up to 290 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers, and 10,000 loose cargoes.
The Davao-General Santos-Bitung sea trade route was launched on April 2017 but had only two trips. It was a struggle for traders to fill the cargo load requirement of the 500 20-foot equivalent (TEU) Super Shuttle Roro 12 of Asia Marine. It was then swapped out with a much smaller Gloria 28 vessel with a capacity of only 256 tons. However, that too was not sustained.
“It can be recalled that the first vessel used for the route was too large while we only had small amount of cargo loads kaya hindi na-sustain and so we had to look for another size vessel, this time around a more appropriate size to continue the operation,” Minda public relations head Adrian Tamayo said in a phone interview yesterday.
He added that with the revival of its operation, the delegates of Davao Icon may consider looking into the route for their business activities for cheaper and faster trading and to sustain the shipping line.
The Davao-General Santos-Bitung route will take less than three days to reach Bitung, Indonesia from Davao City excluding port stay, while the Manila-Bitung route takes three to five weeks of shipping time.
“This shipping line, it will not just directly go to Davao or GenSan and Bitung, but all other areas along the road such as Malaysia and Brunei so we will expect higher cargo loads,” Tamayo said.
“Looking at the side of a sustained connectivity, we are saying that goods now can readily move from place to place which is also good for domestic economy,” he added. (LHC)