The KM Nusantara Pelangi 101 serves the 3,874 miles route between Tanjung Perak of Surabaya and Merauke in Papua with ports of call including Kalabahi, Moa, Saumlaki and Dobo.
Communications and Institution Relation Manager of PT Pelni Akhmad Sujadi said the ship which has a carrying capacity of 350 TEUS will serve the route regularly starting Monday.
"KM.Nusantara Pelangi 101 will carry from Tanjung Perak essential goods such as rice, wheat flour, cooking oil, and building materials like cement, steel, and ceramic," he said here on Monday.
Including KM.Nusantara Pelangi 101, Pelni operates four ships to serve separate sea toll routes to facilitate distribution of goods to the more backward areas in the country.
The price disparity between the western and eastern parts of the country would then be narrowed, Akhmad Sujadi.
The sea toll routes pass through a number of areas which are still isolated and behind in economic development, he said.
"God willing next month we would operate two more ships bringing the total number to six ships serving six sea toll routes, he said.
The six sea toll routes determined by the government to be served as from 2016 are
T-1 - between Tanjung Perak and Fak Fak (3426 mile) via Wanci (Wakatobi) and Namlea to be served by KM. Caraka Jaya Niaga 3-32.
T-2 - between Tanjung Perak and Merauke (3,874 miles) via Kalabahi, Moa, Saumlaki and Dobo-Merauke to be served by KM. Nusantara Pelangi 101.
T-3 - between Tanjung Perak and Waingapu (2,076 miles)via Larantuka, Lewoleba, Rote and Sabu to be served by KM. Caraka Niaga Jaya 3-34.
T-4 -- between Tanjung Priok and Biak (4.644 mile starting April 2016) via Makasar, Manokwari, Wasior, Nabire and Serui.
T-5 - between Makasar and Ternate via Tahuna, Lirung, Morotai, Tobelo and Babang PP (2.608 mile-April-2016) , and
T-6 - between Tanjung Priok and Natuna (1,400 miles) with port of call Tarempa to be served by KM. Caraka Jaya Niaga 3-4.
The government subsidizes Pelni in serving the routes aide at a reducing the prices by 20-30 percent in destination areas.(*)