Davao-Gensan-Bitung  shipping  service sets sail on April 30

  • April 12, 2017

KORONADAL CITY,  South Cotabato,  Apr. 12 (PIA) --   The  governments of  Philippines and Indonesia   will launch  a  roll-on, roll-off shipping  service that will  connect  Davao and General  Santos cities in the Mindanao to  Bitung  City in  Indonesia, an official of the  Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA)  announced.


Jojo  Reynaldo, head of the  South Central Mindanao Office  of the MinDA,  told  local media  at Monday's Kapihan sa PIA 12 that  Philippine President  Rodrigo Duterte and  Indonesian  President   Joko Widodo  will lead the send-off  ceremony of the maiden  voyage of the M/V  Super Shuttle RORO 14 from  Davao Sasa  Port to  General Santos City and   Bitung City  on April 30.


M/V  Super Shuttle RORO 14, owned  by the Philippines-registered Asian Marine Transport Corp,  is a  cargo and  RORO car carrier  with a  gross  capacity of 6,974  tons.


Under the ASEAN RORO initiative, the said  shipping  route aims  to enhance the  connectivity in the ASEAN and  maximize the use of the  regional lanes. 


It is also expected  to  propel trade between  businesses  in different parts of Mindanao  in the Philippines and the Sulawesi provinces in  Indonesia.


Among the goods  that could be traded in this partnership  include animal feeds, aqua products, charcoal, coffee beans, construction materials, copra, cordage, corn, feed  ingredients, fertilizers, food and beverage, fresh fruits, high value crops, ice cream products, lumber, matured coconut, meat, peanuts, poultry, soya, sugar, synthetics, and vegetables.


It has also the potential for  promotion of tourism partnership with the  establishment of  a direct links in these places, the MinDA  official  noted.


Reynaldo  emphasized  that the Davao-Gensan-Bitung route provides more time and cost-efficient alternative to the usual Davao-Manila-Jakarta- Bitung route.


This direct  route, he explained  takes  only one and a  half days  to  complete and estimated to  cost only $700 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) as compared  to  3 to 5 weeks and $2,200 per TEU when using the Davao-Manila-Jakarta-Bitung rout.


As an expansion of the  original  Gensan-Bitung  route, the Davao-Gensan-Bitung RORO shipping service was first scheduled  for launching in December 2012  but   was temporarily shelved  when  the Indonesian government  issued  Ministry Trade Order 83 (MTO); the MTO listed products that were prohibited  for trading both  countries, including food, gifts, toys, electronics, medicines and garments.


Said  MTO was  lifted  last  year, paving the way  for the launching on April 30. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)



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