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A new tech-focused container depot has opened in Jakarta, with the firm’s founders set to modernise Indonesia’s inland box logistics.
GL Terminal is the latest project from logistics veteran Paul Good, who, after heading an Indonesian freight forwarder, spotted a gap in the market to serve Tanjung Priok port with a “world-class” inland container depot (ICD).
The three hectare site is just 10km from the port, and has an annual handling capacity of 180,000 teu.
Mr Good said the company’s goal was to “disrupt traditional practices” in the local market, “driving productivity, innovation and compliance levels that are expected in other markets and in demand from shipping companies, shippers, and forwarders”.
He told The Loadstar his mantra was that whatever technology existed in a developed country could also work in a developing country, and added: “There’s no reason you can’t have a depot in Jakarta with the same quality and systems as Sydney or Singapore.”
It took Mr Good and his partners a year to get the terminal up and running, and last week secured its first customer – a major shipping line, bringing around 11,000 teu a month into Jakarta, spread across three depots.
Mr Good says the sector is “at the bottom of the food chain”, in terms of modern equipment and technology, which leaves it open to inefficiencies and corruption.So the port needs better ICDs, he adds.
For example, GL Terminal has partnered with start-up Logol, a local firm providing electronic payments and gate passes to port operators.
“In Indonesia, when you want to drop a container down to the port, you’ve need a paper gate pass, pay fees in cash and get a receipt,” he explained. “So Logol has digitised that process and taken a lot of the pain out of it. Naturally it made sense for us as a depot to partner with them and speed up activities.”
While Indonesia has seen its fair share of venture capital pouring into logistics start-ups, Mr Good said many were “coming up with solutions to problems that don’t exist,” such as “AirBnB for warehousing” or “Uber for trucking”.
He added: “They’ve raised all this money, but now they don’t know what to do with it, because their solutions are, to a large degree, just ‘thought bubbles’.” Furthermore, he said, most of the successful tech focus so far had been digitising last-mile logistics, leaving plenty of opportunity further up the container chain.
“Last-mile is crowded, and it’s been quite prosperous, but when you come back up the chain, then the closer to the wharf the more premium it becomes.
“What no one is really looking at is mid-mile. And that’s another reason why I’ve started GL Terminal, because I believe there’s space for innovation and to complement the tremendous work done on the last-mile,” said Mr Good.