"Therefore, the dispatch of goods has been hampered."
Bandarlampung (ANTARA News) - Inland Waterway Transportation Service PT ASDP said it was operating 26 ferry ships to overcome traffic jams at the seaports of Merak in the Western tip of Java and Bakauheni in the eastern tip of Sumatra.

"We have overcome since yesterday the accumulations of trucks at Bkauheni port because have we put 26 ferries into operation," Operational Manager of ASDP for Bakauheni, Heru Purwanto, said here on Monday.

He said that his company operated five piers at Bakauheni ferry seaport. "Now the lines of trucks only happen in the lane toward the ship gate. The port area is almost empty now," he added.

However the flow of vehicles on the road that leads to Bakauheni port remains heavy. Usually, at least 6,000 vehicles flowing from and to Sumatra and Java vice versa in the run-up to the fasting month.

Traffic jams at the seaport of Merak hampered the distribution of goods in the two islands of Java and Sumatra last week.

"The condition shows that the government is not ready to consider the economic growth of the area or deal with its transportation issues. Therefore, long queues [of vehicles, mainly trucks] often occur at seaports. So far, the development of infrastructure and seaports is minimal," Deputy Secretary General of the Indonesian Businessmen Association (Apindo) Franky Sibarani said.

The long queue of vehicles at Merak Seaport has forced businessmen to spend an extra 10 to 20 percent in logistics, he added.

"Therefore, the dispatch of goods has been hampered. Moreover, a lot of food rots during the long transportation process," Franky explained.

Compared with previous years, businessmen suffered bigger losses this year because their trucks were trapped in long queues for several times at the Merak Seaport, he said.

"Businessmen hope the government will pay more attention to prevent the long queues from happening the next time," Franky stated.

He said the increased logistics costs were severely affecting the industrial sector.

"The lack of proper infrastructure, such as seaports, has hampered and delayed the distribution of goods," Franky noted.

Traffic came to a standstill at the typically congested road to Merak Port, in Banten, West Java, on Wednesday last week, as vehicles were trapped in a 15-km-long queue.***2***

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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