OPERATIONS of the Davao City-General Santos City-Tahuna-Bitung sea route was reset to July 18, an official said.

The sea route was supposed to begin last June 13 with the departure of MV Beverly of Indonesian-based shipping line PT Kanaka from Bitung. It was supposed to dock in General Santos City on June 14, en-route to Davao City on June 16.

Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) director of investment promotions and public affairs, on Tuesday said the postponement was necessary as they have yet to finalize details of additional commodities that will be shipped from the ports of General Santos City and Davao City.

MV Beverly's maiden voyage from Indonesia be on July 18 and will dock in General Santos City on July 19 then to Davao on July 20. The ship has a capacity of 120 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Montenegro said the first shipment from Indonesia will mostly contain empty containers which will be positioned in the ports of Davao City and General City to be used for future shipments.

He said once finalized, most of the commodities from Mindanao that will be shipped to Indonesia will be food-related products. However, they are also looking into the possibility of shipping non-food products like fertilizers or cement.

"We are looking at organizing a small delegation of Mindanao-based traders, importers, and exporters for a trip to Manado, Indonesia to firm up and finalize the details of the commodities," Montenegro said.

He said they will bring the delegation around the first two weeks of July, prior to the maiden voyage.

The trade sea route was established through an agreement sealed on on April 11 by PT Kanaka, North Minahasa Chamber of Commerce of Indonesia, Philippine-based cargo company ARREE Freight Express, and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII).

PT Kanaka will provide the shipping services while ARREE Freight Express "will handle the cargo consolidation requirements for the shipping route."