The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced plans to open a shorter shipping route between the Philippines and Indonesia, a move meant to strengthen trade relations between the two neighboring countries, reported Manila Times.
The maiden voyage scheduled on April 28 will originate from Davao City, the hometown of Philippines President
Agricultural products will be among the first batches of cargo to be transported on the new shipping route, the trade department said. It is expected to generate savings of up to USD1,500 (PHP75,000) per twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) creating revenue for local businessmen and the government.
The opening of a shorter sea linkage is expected to strengthen trade relations between the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as stimulate other areas of developments such as foreign investments and tourism.
The current shipping route from Davao City in Mindanao takes up to 5 weeks because ships first have to sail northwards to Manila and then cross the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), passing through Malaysian waters, before it reaches various ports in Indonesia. Its final stop is in Bitung City in the northern coast of Sulawesi Island, based on a map provided by the DOTr.