Indonesia have laid down the groundwork to show their ambitions in overtaking Singapore as a major shipping power in the region, by setting to invest S$115 million into a Batam Port. The investment plan from state port operator Pelindo I.
The investment plan, it was announced, aims to enhance cargo handling facilities at the port of Batu Ampar, in order to raise its competitiveness. The port, which is located in the northern tip of Batam, and is facing the Singapore Strait, will soon take delivery of three new new mobile harbour cranes and and 12 terminal tractors. This move comes hot on the heels of Malaysia’s own plans to develop a multi-million dollar project for a port at Johor’s Tanjung Pelepas, where ships can transfer their cargo to other vessels without having to dock at berths.
Seems that both Indonesia and Malaysia are keen to challenge Singapore’s decades old strangle hold on the sea routes for this region. This was further conformed when Indonesia has gone on record as saying that they want Batam as an alternative shipping and manufacturing hub to Singapore.
Singapore have to step up now.