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3.1.3 Sea Transport
Development of ro-ro ferry
Services in the IMT-GT
Operation of the ro-ro service
between Penang and Belawan has
been suspended due to lack of
promotion, competition from faster
and cheaper ferry services, and
regulatory issues in Dec 2005.
The ro-ro ferry services from Dumai
(Sumatera) to Kuali Linggi (Melaka)
was identified as a project
deliverable for 2007 at the IMT-GT
Planning Meeting for 2007.
Malaysia is in the process of
upgrading the Kuala Linggi ferry
terminal. The construction of the
Dumai ro-ro ferry terminal is on-going
and is expected to be completed in
Maju Ikan has agreed for the jetty to
be used for the Ro-ro and barter
trade services to be operated by
Kuala Lingi Barter Trade Sdn Bhd—
license for operations pending.
Request for JBC Indonesia to
reconsider transferring the service to
I don't think I'll hold my breath. We intend to cross some time next year.
Thanks for the update. That article from the star is dated 13/02/2008 so its probably the same rumors i've been refering to last year. Although that other piece of info sound promising. Heard an opinion here that there is no political interest on both sides to put up a serious roro service but cannon remember the exact reasoning. Darius, you listening? Can you shed light on this? ;-)
I'm currently in Penang and will organize a shipping in the next few weeks. I've been pointed by a fellow biker to a shipping company here in Penang, the price he said (though i'm not sure if i remeber it right) was someting around 200US and no crate needed. Will update here as soon the thing is done.
btw, anyone heading or is in Sumatra/Medan around the 1st of August +- couple of weeks? I'll be riding up north to Banda Aceh and then all the way down the west coast until the road ends. At least that's the plan so far...
We're currently in Padang and are heading to Medan in order to get us and our bikes over to Penang. Have you got any further information yet concerning ferries? Have you read this link: written by Fred, a German who had the same problems you are facing.
You can contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We're currently in Padang and are heading to Medan in order to get us and our bikes over to Penang.
Me and my girl are on our way up to Sumatra and are wanting information on how you have gone. We are just about to enter Java so will be ready to cross into Malaysia in under a month from now.
We are riding 2-up on a Honda CT110 postie bike. Started in Perth 3months ago and have been island hopping all the way. The bike is going great and we are having a fantastic time. Ive heard so many different stories on the Indo-Malay crossing and am keen to hear how you, or anyone else has recently gone through this region.
Hope to see you or hear from you on road sometime.
Nathan and Akiko
have managed to get our bikes from Belawan (Sumatra) to Penang (or actually Butterworth in Malaysia). The whole thing went very easy, at least in the beginning...
There is no way to put the bikes onto the daily passenger ferry from Belawan to Georgetown since this is a speed boat (monohaul body) and really only takes passengers and their luggage.
So you'll have to get your bikes onto a cargo ship. If you manage to show up at the port around afternoon when the speedboat from Georgetown arrrives, you'll most probably walk into a Mr. Monti. He's the person to organize things. Unfortunately I can't give you his number since I think it's not working. If you can't find him just ask around, it seems that most people down there at the harbour know him. He then will get you in contact with the freight forwarder who will get the paperwork (bill of lading) and the customs done. There is no need for crating the bikes . They will be locked in a building at the docks until the ship is loaded.
At the other end (Butterworth) you will have to find the right port and your freight forwarder. Now that's where it all got a bit complicated. We didn't get an address or phone number from Mr. Monti or the the other guy involved . Therfore we were running around trying to find the right port. In the end we tasked another freight forwarder to find our bikes which he then did. Custom etc was a piece of cake.
I'll send you the exact prieces once I have calculated all the costs.
Just a short one to see if you are able to give us an estimate on the costs of the transport of your bike. We are in Padang now with 10days left on our visas so need to make the move soon.
How much did you pay for your airfares?
Still unsure which port we are gonna try, Im not keen on flying would rather go with the bike by boat.
sorry for answering earlier.
All in all we paid per bike about 160 AU$ (Handling/Customs/Transport...). That includes the Indonesian and the Malaysian side.
Now here's the tricky part. The costs on the Belawan side will greatly depend on your skills of bargaining :-)
Over in Malaysia (Butterworth) the costs were straightforward and actually dead cheap.
These are just the prices for the bikes (and they are big) so you may get away with less costs anyway. For yourselves you will have to by tickets for the fast ferry (Belawan-Georgetown) which cost 420'000 Rp. You can by them in Belawan on the main road in a shop called Bali Travel (or something similar like that). No need for anyone else to buy the tickets since they will keep the change and charge you 500'000 Rp.....
The fast ferry leaves every morning from Belawan to Georgetown at about 11.oo am so no worries at that end. You could actually wait in Belawan to make sure that your bikes leave with the cargo ship before you make your way over to Penang. But be assured, Belawan is not the place you wanna hangout. Nothing to see and to do and everything is very expensive there (incl accomodation).
Need more info?
P.S: You can extend you visa anytime for a few Rp in order to take your time around Sumatra. But I guess you had enough of the traffic
After a bit of investigation a short update on the current situation in Penang:
Cakra Shipping & Trading (that's the company everybody here is talking about -> Mr. Lim) is still operating and seems to be the place to go if you want to send your bike from Penang to Belawan/Medan. We had a long talk with them, they are very friendly and helpfull.
The boat is leaving every Monday and Thursday late afternoon (at least that's the schedule). You can bring in your bike the same day in the morning, but you need to arranged the papaerwork in advance. You can assist the loading of the bike, which I would recomend after hearing how they handle the bikes. But "50 bikes and no accident so far" :-) The boat is leaving from Butterworth harbour, one km or so (south?) of the place where the ferry from Penang arrives.
They will charge you RM 350 (aprox 110 USD) for everything, assuming you have a CDP. This does not include the fees on the other side in Belawan, we've been told they charge around RM 100, but I'd expect more partly depending on your negotiation skills.
Claudios (Globetrotter) report on the famous Mr. Monti in Belawan was not so good (read above), so I guess the way to go is either to avoid him (can you speak Bahasa?) or to agree to a price at the begining and to stick to that whatever he comes up with. He seems to be very well informed and to know about every bike coming. Sure he's reading this, so Mr. Monti, see you soon :-)
We were told that if you put your bike on the monday boat you can take the tuesday morning speed ferry from George Town to Belawan and be ready at the port in Belawan for assisting the unloading of the bike on tuesday afternoon. But I wouldn't relay on that, there's a fair chance the boat will not arrive on schedule, so be prepared for at least one night in Belawan. That's also the reason why not to use the thursday boat, otherwise you might be stuck in Belawan for the whole weekend. There's a hotel somewhere near the port, though, at least we've been told.
Cakra Shipping & Trading
187 3rd Floor
Me off for Indonesia soon. Anyone near Penag/Medan right now?
There's a hotel somewhere near the port, though, at least we've been told.
There is (at least there was, in February) a ´resort´ on the outskirts of Belawan, seemed like the only one in town that had some sort of decent rooms. We looked up 2-3 places before that, and they were disgusting ratholes. None of these were particularly cheap, so the low-end places were remarkably overpriced, wouldnt have wanted to stay in any of them for any price, they were that bad.
Medan is only 30 kms away, though, there must be plenty of options where to stay.
We also used Cakra Shipping from Penang, seemed to be the only option that worked fine at the time. We met several travellers, who had used them, and can also recommend them based on our own experience. No problems whatsoever with the customs, etc., and I later heard of travellers stuck with their vehicles at various ports/airports around Indonesia, not allowed entry, even though they had all paperwork, including carnet, and customs asking them some ridiculous things, like a recommendation letter from the UN!! I know things can and will change quickly in Indonesia, but at the time this route (Penang-Belawan) seemed like the only reasonable option.
In fact an Italian guy, who lives in Bali, and had had his Harley stuck at Surabaya port for 4-5 weeks, said after we met and discussed how we got our bike in, that he´s going to ship it to Singapore, and try doing it this same way. That´s one hell of a detour through Malaysia peninsula, and then Sumatra and Java, but may gives you some idea, how complicated it can be around there. He also had the carnet like we did.
Still Indonesia is a great experience, if you can get your bike in.
pecha72, thanks for the update on the situation in Belawan.
Indonesia seems really to be tricky to get in at some places. But I guess a lot depends on your negotiation skills - I met Darius here in Penang, he managed to get him, his wife and the bike from Sarawak/Borneo (Malaysia) into Kalimantan, something reported by others as impossible. But then, he also managed to get a 6 months stamp for his bike at the Thai border near Baling, something I would have thought not possible or very expensive.
But never heard of any serious troubles on the Penang-Belawan route, at least as long all papers were in order. Anyway, will post an update as soon as in Indonesia, In'sh'Allah!
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