On Tuesday (13/09) the New Priok Container Terminal 1 (NPCT1) was inaugurated, a ceremony that was witnessed by a group of ministers as well as President Widodo. Widodo urged state-owned Pelindo II, the developer and operator of the New Priok Port, to speed up development of the mega-project and - in case the company has difficulty financing the project - seek cooperation with the private sector.

The reason why Widodo is eager to see rapid development of the New Priok Port is because the new port would give a great boost to Indonesia's competitiveness. In terms of trade, nations are involved in a fierce battle and those markets that have a low degree of competitiveness (for example due to weak infrastructure) are missing plenty of lucrative opportunities. NPCT1 will make Indonesia a stronger player on international markets, boosting Indonesia's competitiveness in terms of seaborne trade as this new terminal adds 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to the port's existing 7 million TEU annual capacity.

The new terminal controls eight cranes that can move 30 containers per hour and berths that can dock ships with a draft of 16 meters and will allow the port to accommodate vessels carrying 10,000 TEUs from Europe and East Asia. On the long term Jakarta is envisioned (by local authorities) to become the key hub for sea transportation in Southeast Asia, a position currently held by Singapore.

Dwell time at Tanjung Priok is now between 3.2 and 3.7 days (down from +7 days two years ago). After the New Priok is completed, Widodo expects dwell time to drop to two days. This will also contribute to push logistics costs down in Indonesia. Currently, logistics costs in Indonesia are about 2.5 times higher compared to its neighboring countries.

Phase one of the New Priok Port, which should be completed by 2019, consists of three new container terminals and two goods terminals.