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Business Services | Knowledge Transfer
ASDP Indonesia Ferry | Mr Danang S. Baskoro
Mr Danang S. Baskoro

It is my goal for the Indonesian archipelago to achieve cheap distribution through the use of sea transportation. Coastal shipping stands to play a big role in lowering logistics costs and will lessen the country’s dependence on road links. 

Mr Danang S. Baskoro, President Director

Indonesia Ferry has quite a long history in Indonesia, dating back forty years. What have been and will be your business strategies in providing transportation services across the Indonesian Archipelago?

Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in the world and because of this, sea transportation in this country is very important. Now that the country has autonomy, with each of the 33 provinces having some form of local government, Indonesia Ferry has the opportunity to move beyond pilot projects (Perintis) given to us by the Indonesian government to provide sea transportation services to otherwise remotely located islands in the archipelago. If we did not provide services to these islands, it is likely that they would not have identified with other, more centrally located Indonesian islands and could have sought independence. Our services were very important in connecting and unifying the islands that make up current day Indonesia.

Now, the company also operates in a commercial capacity. This mean our focus is not only on providing services to remotely located islands, but also on adding vessels to growing markets in Java and Sumatra. We are also working on expanding ferry services between Bali and Java, Bali and Lombok, and Lombok to Sumbawa Island; routes that are in increasingly high demand. This year alone, we have already purchased more than 7 vessels from England, Korea and Japan. Because of this, our company has thrived and our services are competitive in a market that has seen a rise in the number of private firms. Last year, we were rated 2nd in the rankings of best state owned enterprises, and this year we placed 1st.

What can you tell us about Indonesia Ferry’s current sea transportation network?

We currently have more than 154 routes. The total combined distance of these routes is more than 10,000 km. We also manage 34 ferry ports, where we make available several key services and facilities such as bunkering and providing clean water. Now that we have such extensive coverage, we made the decision to divide routes into clusters depending upon their commercial potential. The first cluster is the growth cluster, the second is moderate and the third is marginal. As I have to prioritize the company’s investment to maintain our revenue, I invest more money in the first cluster than I do in the moderate and marginal clusters. With this strategy, Indonesia Ferry hopes to maintain its revenue, its profit, its quality of services and its standards of safety. If the branches are located in our moderate or marginal clusters, they are well aware that investment in their operations may be limited. All of our investment decisions are discussed between headquarters and branches.

What can you tell us on your outlook for where sea transportation will be most needed in the future and which area of Indonesia do you see the most potential for development of your services of sea transportation as well as port management?

We are already preparing to grab opportunities associated with growth in Eastern Indonesia. Now, we have more vessels and ferries operating in eastern regions of the country than in western regions. Also, we have routes of longer total distances in eastern areas than we do in western areas. Indonesia is unique, in the sense that in the western area most commodities are derived from plantations, the middle area is heavily involved in the industrial sector and the east is known for its mining and forests. We noticed these trends having had extensive experience in moving cargo all over the country.

Do you foresee any major changes in policy regarding Indonesia’s maritime service industry following the inauguration of the new government under Joko Widodo?

Almost immediately after it was announced that he won the 2014 presidential election, Jokowi laid out his plans to prioritize the development of sea tolls, which are essentially comprised of a network of deep sea ports. This is positive news for the sea transportation industry, as it signals growing momentum towards using ships as the primary means of lowering logistics costs within the country.

As a ferry transportation service provider we have increasingly moved into logistics and in fact have discussed in detail the opportunity to engage in coastal shipping, whereby we transport cargo between ports located on the north side of Java. This initiative will contribute significantly to reducing traffic on the already overcapacity road links between major commercial centres on Java’s northern coast.

Indonesia only receives 6-7 million tourists every year and as such has fallen behind its regional competitors. Inadequacies in tourist infrastructure have been identified as a major hindrance to the sector, as it can be difficult to travel between islands. What kind of opportunities do you see from a tourism point of view for the ferry industry?

This is an area we plan to focus on in the near future and we will soon construct marine transport facilities in Bali because so many tourists want to go to Lombok, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and other small, sometimes uninhabited, islands. Usually, they use yachts to reach these islands but there is not an area that they can park safely and easily. We are in the process of consultation to determine which area of our ferry ports can be used for these yachts. We also hope to invest in improving upon the amenities made available at our ports, so as to provide visitors with entertainment options while waiting for their ferry and make the journey more enjoyable.

How is your company positioned towards cooperation with foreign partners and in which area do you think Indonesia Ferry would most benefit from potential knowhow and technology transfers?

In the development of ferry ports, particularly in regards to management. We would also benefit from know-how and technology capable of solving problems of efficiency in getting trucks loaded onto our vessels. For example, we have over 5000 trucks that need to be transported between Java and Sumatra via ferry on a daily basis. However, traffic delays these trucks from reaching our port on time and our ferries often have to leave before they are at full capacity. The company has issues in handling these trucks and from my visits to ports in Dover, England, I have seen that such issues are not as common elsewhere. We need know how on how to regulate these trucks, as this problem will become more severe over time with the addition of more trucks coming through our ports every year.

When it comes to cooperation between local players and foreign investors, it is very important that both parties share the same vision for the company and have a mutual understanding for business culture and business practices. What can you tell us about your dream for Indonesia Ferry?

My dream is for the country’s current emphasis on land transportation to move to an emphasis on sea transportation. This will be good for the government, in the sense that costs associated with toll road development and maintenance will decrease and the money could be allocated towards schools, universities, and manufacturing factories. The sea is the future because it is very cost-effective. All we need is the political will, as this will improve our brand and improve our ability to receive credit needed for us to develop our services. It is my goal for the Indonesian archipelago to achieve cheap distribution through the use of sea transportation. Maritime services such as coastal shipping stand to play a big role in lowering logistics costs and lessen the country’s dependence on road links.  

What would you like our readers to remember about Indonesia Ferry or Indonesia, as a final message?

Our company is well positioned to take advantage of growing inter-island activity and inter-ASEAN integration. We are already the biggest ferry company, with 129 vessels. We are also a financially sound company with international benchmarking in terms of operations (IMO regulation) to be awarded shortly, guaranteeing high standards of safety and service quality. With this foundation, I am sure that Indonesia Ferry will be able to achieve its goals, particularly if a greater political emphasis is placed on the viability of sea transportation.