As the government forges ahead with a new cargo inspection system, businesses — many of which had called for a postponement — are now up in arms over the chaotic consequences.
Several business associations appealed to Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat on Tuesday after much of their cargo missed deadlines or had piled up at scanning locations since the new regulation took effect on Saturday.
Hariyadi Sukamdani, an official at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), warned that things would only get worse today, when business intensifies after the Idul Fitri break.
“It is only the second day after the week-long holiday,” he said on Tuesday. “It is still at about 25 percent of the normal volume.”
State postal operator Pos Indonesia said 25 tons of cargo missed flights on Monday evening after being held up in Rawa Bokor, east of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The Indonesian Newspapers Publishers’ Association (SPS) is fuming after shipment of several newspapers were delayed.
“The regulated agents should be better prepared,” said Yuzon Erman, a Pos Indonesia manager.
Under the new system, packages are inspected individually in an X-ray scanner rather than in bulk, adding to processing time and costs.
The change also cut the number of authorized inspection companies. Previously there were eight, but that was cut to three and eventually changed to six. The price has also increased, 10-fold in some cases.
Herry Bakti Singayuda Gumay, an official at the Transportation Ministry, said that despite an opportunity to postpone, they decided to implement the new system because everything was ready.
But according to M. Kadrial, a Kadin official who also chairs the Indonesian Express Delivery Companies’ Association (Asperindo), implementation was poor, with only two of six regulated agents operating at the airport.
“The scans are done in Rawa Bokor, Kelapa Gading, Cibitung and Mangga Dua,” Kadrial said, adding that samples had to be scanned again once packages reached the airport.
He said the disparate locations slowed handling, causing shipment delays and extra transportation costs. “This hurts the competitiveness of Indonesian products in the market,” Kadrial said.
Hariyadi said Indonesia needs at least 100 agents to handle shipping. “Singapore, only a transit country, has 290 agents,” he said.
The business associations’ plan to raise the issue with Transport Minister Freddy Numberi today, while Kadin may bring the case to the administrative court should the ministry fail to respond.