Source: Tempo.co 
Date: 24 August 2020 

During the last five years, the number of national shipping fleets or ships in Indonesia has doubled. In 2015, the original fleet number of 16,142 vessels increased to 32,587 in 2019.

Chairperson of the Indonesian National Shipowners' Association (INSA), Carmelita Hartoto, said that this data was included in the 2019 Ministry of Transportation's Statistics Book. If added with fishing boats, she said the number could reach more than 63,000.

"Other countries may not believe we have that many ships," she said in the Ministry of Transportation's webinar on Monday, August 24, 2020.

Not only the fleet but the number of national shipping companies has also increased. From the original 3,266 companies in 2015 to 4,059 companies in 2019 or an increase of 793 companies.

According to Carmelita, this significant growth in the national shipping industry is the result of the cabotage principle which has been implemented since 2005. The cabotage principle is the exclusive right of a country to apply its laws and regulations in the fields of land, water and air within its territory.

This principle was officially applied through Presidential Instruction Number 5 of 2005 concerning the Empowerment of the National Shipping Industry, issued by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or SBY. As a result, currently, all shipping market shares in the country are controlled by national companies.

In 2015, for example, foreign companies still held 45,000 shares of the total 450 million share of the cargo market throughout Indonesia. But starting in 2016, the foreign market share was taken completely by national companies.

Until 2019, there is a market share of 1.4 billion tons of cargo, fully controlled by national shipping companies. None of them is managed by foreign companies. "We have succeeded in becoming sovereign in our own country," she said.