DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 September) — The roll-on/roll-off (RORO) service between Davao City and Bitung, Indonesia is expected to be operational by next year.
Marc Ayes, deputy team leader of Research, Education and Institutional Development (REID) Foundation, said local shippers, representatives from government and private sector will meet with different stakeholders in Bitung, Indonesia in mid-September to discuss the RORO service.
Bitung and Manado shippers, RORO operators, customs officials, port officials and the Bitung Governor will attend the meeting, he said.
Already, a Cebu-based Super Shuttle Ferry has signified interest to service the route, he said.
He explained that with a RORO service, transport cost of goods will be reduced by about five to 10 percent compared with those done through wooden hulled vessels. Transport time will also be reduced from an average of 2.5 days to 1.5 days between this city and Bitung, about 350 nautical miles apart.
Also to be discussed during the meeting are the frequency of service, customs of clearance, port fees, freight rates, incentives and mutual recognition of chassis or trucks.
A memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed in November during the Davao Investment Conference.
Maria Lourdes Monteverde, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said the RORO service is in preparation for the free trade agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by 2015.
“We really need to be competitive towards exchanging of goods,” she said. (MindaNews)