The last year 2017, the Indonesian economy grew by 5%. Meanwhile, in 2018, Indonesia is predicted to face a quite difficult economic situation, which likely will bring unfavorable impact for industrial sectors in the country.

Apart from the fact, nevertheless, Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) is optimistic that the national shipping industry will remain prospective in 2018, regardless of the weakening performance of several players in the industry.

The optimistic prediction by INSA is referring to the basic assumption of the macroeconomy settled in the 2018 State Budget Plan (APBN 2018). Based on the APBN-2018, the Indonesian economy is targeted to grow by 5.4% in 2018, with a stable exchange rate of rupiah at IDR 13,400 per US dollar, and crude oil price at USD 48 per barrel.

The last year 2017, the national shipping industry increased by 8.72% in QIV/2017, far higher than in the same period of 2016 when the industry only grew by 2.34%. Annually, the national shipping industry grew by 4.64% in 2017. Based on these figures, PT. Visi Globalindo Data Utama believes that the national shipping industry will grow by 5.01% in the first semester of 2018.

Related to the facts, the national players in the shipping service sector are also quite optimistic toward this year 2018. It is as shown from the positive effects coming from the government’s maritime and seal toll programs. Since 2017, there are already 13 sea-toll routes developed by the state-owned companies (BUMN) and private companies, covering 41 ports in Indonesia. However, seven of the routes are handled by PT. Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (Persero), and the other six routes are managed by private companies.

As expected by the Ministry of Transportation, the sea-troll program can also benefit the micro, small and medium business actors (UMKM) in the eastern Indonesian region. It is because the ships that brought food supply to the Eastern Indonesian region can bring UMKM products from the region while returning to their bases.

Based on these facts, Directorate General of Sea Transportation has allocated IDR 380 billion of budgets for the sea-troll program. Some IDR 220 billion of the budget can be used for financing the existing six routes operated by Pelni, while the other IDR 160 billion is for financing five new routes.

Besides, the positive performance of the national shipping sector is also expected to come from the implementation of cabotage principle and the Permendag No. 82/2016 on the using of Indonesia-flag ship for export-import activities.

In another side, it is predicted that the offshore segment will not yet reach the recovering momentum in 2018. According to INSA, a utilization rate of the offshore shipping armada in 2018 is predicted not to reach higher than 60%. This situation is coming from the negative impact of the decreasing activities of oil & gas contractors (K3S) for oil & gas production and exploration, following the dropping price of crude oil in the international market since 2014. The increasing trend of crude oil price to USD 50 per barrel won’t drive up the demand for offshore shipping services all of a sudden. This year 2018, a performance of the offshore shipping industry is predicted not to recover significantly.