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Shorter sea route from Philippines to Indonesia to open on April 28 2017

A SHORTER sea route from Davao City to General Santos in the Philippines and onwards to Bitung, Indonesia is scheduled to open on April 28 2017, reported The Manila Times.

"Having a shipping route such as this is crucial for any maritime region. Sea linkage will strengthen our economies and our partnerships in other areas of development. And it will also improve the quality of life of our people because local businessmen and traders will directly benefit from this," Department of Transport (DOT) Secretary Arthur Tugade said. The new sea route intends to make transporting goods faster, compared to the current three to five weeks via the Manila-Bitung route. The DOT said that it would be cheaper, with savings estimated at US$1,500 per TEU. An initial weekly shipping schedule with a vessel capacity of 100 TEU will be provided by the Asian Marine Transport Corp., while other vessel operators are expected to show interest in plying the route, according to DoT. The Davao-General Santos Bitung route is one of the three Asean ro/ro priority routes, identified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency Feasibility Study on the Establishment of an Asean RORO Shipping Network, adopted by the 25th Asean Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting in 2013. The other two routes are the Dumai-Malacca route and the Belawan-Penang- Phuket route.

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