Ben Line Agencies Indonesia CSR Program

Ben Line Agencies Indonesia, via its CSR program, recently supported the supply of lifejackets that were donated to the Harbour Master of Karangantu (located in the province of Banten, West Java). The donation was attended by our Merak branch office manager, Robert Tambunan.

The lifejackets are now being used by the local community for their daily activity around the region, and transportation between coastal islands. Ben Line Agencies is committed to CSR efforts, working with local authorities and communities to improve the conditions, and trying to make a positive contribution to the areas of our operations.

BLA Profile: Terence Uytingban

Date of joining Ben Line Agencies: 01 August 2017
Position: General Manager – Marine Agency and Offshore Services
Current location: Ben Line Agencies Philippines

Capt. Terence has sailed across the globe onboard various types of tankers for over 10 years starting from cadetship until he became captain. His shore-based career started in 2005 as a Manager responsible for the fleet personnel of Eitzen Maritime Services through a Filipino-Norwegian JV company called Aboitiz Jebsen. The company handled close to 400 ships and 10,000 seafarers where Capt. Terence subsequently got involved in various senior management positions covering the areas of Crew Management, Ship Management, HSQE, Training & Career Development, and Marketing.

Here we get to know Capt. Terence a little better.

  • How did you get into the shipping industry? I joined the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in 1992 fresh out of High School with a goal of becoming a Naval Officer. As a cadet, I was sponsored by Mobil Shipping Company Ltd where I did my apprenticeship on two of their VLCCs. Eventually, I got convinced that joining the merchant fleet was a better option, so I joined Shell after graduation and continued sailing thereafter.
  • Who were you with prior joining Ben Line Agencies?I was with Aboitiz Jebsen for 8 years. In 2014, I was invited by UltraShip – a Danish Shipmanagement company under the Ultra group of Chile who wanted to establish a hub in the Philippines. I ran this office as General Manager before joining Ben Line in 2017.
  • What qualities did you bring across to Ben Line Agencies from your previous employer(s)?I was moulded in a highly competitive, fast-paced, multi-culture environment where the default mindset is always move forward and up. I am a strategic thinker who believes in 5 I’s – Insight, Innovation, Influence, Intervention and Integration.
  • What does a typical day involve for you at Ben Line Agencies Philippines?It will always be different but will have either one or a few of below flavours:
    Insight – learn new things and impart knowledge to others (the team).
    Innovation – use technology and creative thinking in delivering better services to clients.
    Influence – bad habits are contagious, introduce new habits to the team.
    Intervention – be aware and act.
    Integration – make every member relevant and their contributions part of the whole.
  • What are the biggest challenges you face in your current role? Matching the existing resources against the business opportunities and time – so much things to do and so little time!
  • How would you describe your leadership style? I am generally a participative leader who would involve and empower my team. However, my professional experience which exposed me to various types of personalities and situations both at sea and ashore makes me shift to situational leadership whenever needed.
  • What has been your finest achievement in your time at Ben Line Agencies Philippines?I have only been part of BLAP for less than a year but have already seen sparks of excellence, passion and shared-vision among the members of the team. For me – it is an inspiration and a source of anticipation for bigger things to come.
  • During your spare time what do you do to unwind? 24 hours in a day is never enough in this kind of business but I endeavour to find quality time with my family to unwind whenever possible. I am also pursuing further studies so that eats up all other spare time available.
  • What is your favourite Filipino food? All-time favourite is adobo – but I also like kare-kare.
  • Finally, what is your message to the team in the Philippines? Vision – Mission – Values: we will define who we are and what we will become.

Ben Line Agencies Malaysia welcomes Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group


On behalf of Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group, Ben Line Agencies Malaysia organised a roadshow and dinner event on 16th Aug 2018, in JW Marriot Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The event was attended by Beibu Gulf Port Group management team, Ben Line representatives from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and distinguished guests from Malaysia port terminals, international shipping companies, international freight forwarders, major shippers and local forwarding companies.

Beibu Gulf Port Group presented their group business profile of 5 business sectors: Ports, Logistics, Industry & Trade, Real Estate and Investment. It also illustrated the Southern Trade Corridor which has swift connection in and out of Southwest China to Sichuan, Chongqing, Gansu, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi provinces via Beibu Gulf Ports.

Beibu Gulf Port Holding Company also holds substantial shares in Kuantan Port and Malaysia China Kuantan Industry Park (MCKIP).

Below is the welcome speech of Ben Line Agencies’ director, Kristian Vandermeer.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for attending this event where we are pleased to be promoting the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group in Kuala Lumpur. I welcome our guests from the Malaysian shipping and logistics industry, and I also welcome our esteemed guests from Guangxi province, who will be giving us all further insight into what is an exciting development for any business that is moving cargo to / from the western and southern regions of China.

Ben Line Agencies is very honored to be partnering with the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port Group to promote and develop the volumes and flow of cargo through the Southern Trade Corridor, particularly through the main container port of Qinzhou and the rail connections through to various cities in Western China, such as Chongqing and Chengdu. The Southern Trade Corridor is a key part of the broader One Belt and One Road initiative, particularly with the continued economic growth in the Western part of China. The logistical benefits of this Southern Trade Corridor are significant – resulting in both transit time and cost savings. Importers, exporters, freight forwarders and shipping lines who are active in Malaysia and more broadly, in Southeast Asia, need to be aware of such benefits so that this new logistics corridor can add value to your supply chains and business in general.

As we look to future opportunities, allow me a moment to reflect on some history also. Ben Line had our first ship sailing from Europe to the Far East in 1859, the vessel (the Araby Maid) called in Southeast Asia, before sailing to China and Japan. This was the first of many Ben Line ships that traded between Europe, Southeast Asia and China throughout the 19th and 20th centuries – in this regard, we feel rather connected to the current Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government, and we are very eager to link our customers and partners into the Beibu Gulf Port Group’s efforts to develop the port and surrounding infrastructure to facilitate what will be a growing container and breakbulk trade into the fastest growing areas of Western China.

I would encourage all attendees to meet with our friends from the Beibu Gulf Port Group tonight, to find out more about the plans for their port infrastructure and to learn more about the logistics connections through this area. Our team at Ben Line Agencies is also committed to helping raise awareness of the benefits of this Southern Trade Corridor and the hub port of Qinzhou, which will see the cargo flows to / from Malaysia only continue to grow for many years to come.

Thank you all very much for coming and for supporting the ongoing development of the Beibu Gulf Port Group’s terminals and logistics services. Please enjoy your evening ahead.

Ben Line Agencies Philippines Handles Voyager of the Seas in Manila

The Voyager of the Seas on its arrival at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila

Despite weather conditions, Voyager of the Seas, with an overall length of 311.12m and breadth extreme of 47.4m, successfully made its maiden voyage with Ben Line Agencies Philippines on July 20, 2018. Voyager of the Seas is the lead ship of the Voyager class and was the largest cruise ship in the world when it was built in 1999.

Tyler Parker, guest service manager for Voyager of the Seas, remarked that Ben Line Agencies Philippines was very efficient and professional in assisting the crew’s family and guests, most especially in handling clearance procedures. They are looking forward to more Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships to call other ports around the Philippines.

At the bridge, Capt. Sindre Borsheim (Voyager’s Master) and officers from Asian Terminals Inc. and Philippine Ports Authority and Ben Line Agencies Philippines Cruise Ops team during the Welcome and Plaque Exchange Ceremony.

Ben Line Agencies Indonesia Compliance Poster Competition

Contestant winners: Michael Target from the Jakarta office, Suci Ramadhani from the Medan office.

In line with Ben Line Agencies commitment to improving awareness and adherence to all matters related to compliance, our Indonesia office recently held a nationwide poster competition that was open to all staff. An orientation of compliance and HSEQ policies is part of the induction program for new hires, followed by regular training, conducted by our compliance officer.

The two winning posters have been printed and distributed to all offices across the country, and will serve as a daily reminder to all our teams, as well as everyone who visits our offices of the importance of compliance to our daily activity as we strive to execute all our activities in accordance with local country regulations, and Ben Line’s own policies.

India: 2018 Sea Cargo Manifest and Transshipment Regulations

As another step towards ease of doing business in India, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has made some changes in the regulation for filing Sea Cargo Manifest for Import, Export and Transshipment cargo. These changes are scheduled to come into force effective 01st August 2018.

As per the key highlights of the revised regulation, it is compulsory for ship owners, importers and exporters to adhere to the defined timelines for manifest filing of import cargo arriving in India, exports out of India and transhipments made via Indian ports.

Import Shipments to India (Arrival Manifest): Import Manifest is required to be submitted to customs prior to departure of vessel from the last port of calling. To adhere to these time lines, full details of Bills of Lading and all other manifest information needs to be made available for manifest filing, at least 24 hours PRIOR to departure of vessel from the last foreign port.

Exports Shipment from India (Departure Manifest): The Vessel Agent is required to submit the export manifest details to Indian Customs Prior Vessel Sailing from Indian Port of Loading. To be able to adhere to these timelines, the shipper must submit the original Shipping Bill with LEO (Let Export Order) to the Vessel Agent at least 48 hours prior to the Estimate Time of Arrival (ETA) of the export vessel.

Gladstone Port – Planned Maintenance Notice

Planned Shutdown 23 July To 27 July 2018
Terminal: R G Tanna Coal Terminal
Plant: Shiploader No.2 on Berth No.1.
Duration: 5 days.

The main work for the Shiploader No.2 Shutdown includes:

  • Inspect and repair SL2 telescopic chute.
  • Repair oil leak on gearbox, CC7A Gladstone side.
  • Upgrade CC7A drive coupling on Gladstone and Rocky sides.
  • Install new steelwork to support replacement Transformer on SL2.
  • Abrasive blast and paint underside of SL2 MCC Room.
  • Structural repairs on SL2 Tripper upper end.
  • Cold repairs on CC6 belt.
  • Repair, abrasive blast and paint SL2 Tripper rail between CC6 and CC6A.
  • Service and calibrate CC5 belt weighers.
  • Tiling repairs in transfer chutes in SL2 system.
  • Sample Plant 1 maintenance.
  • Belt cleaner maintenance.
  • General maintenance of the Shiploader No.2 system and conveyors.

Ben Line Agencies Indonesia Advisory: Sailing Delay for Coal Vessels

Recently we have received the request for clarification from our Principals relating to the below statement:

This is to inform you that due to some sudden changes in Indonesian Government Policies, export procedures has been changed with immediate effect. Exports being previously cleared on trade license now has to be processed under Miners Licenses along with export duties. Even the same is immediately functional for the shipments already loaded and therefore, no ship can sail or load further unless export duties and mine license documentation been done and therefore, all cargo already loaded has to be unloaded back to jetty.

All these has severely impacted the business in Indonesia, almost 20 ‐ 25 shipments are now held at East Kalimantan and 10 ‐15 at South Kalimantan. We regret to inform you this but as implies, many shipments are stuck in these changed policies with uncertain consequent hereafter. (As per letter from Ministry of Finance Republic Indonesian narrating same.

Be advised that from our local checking we have determined that there is no new regulation as highlighted above, but instead there has been a crackdown on longstanding law implemented by the Ministry of Trade in 2014.

All shippers export cargoes are required to pay government tax (Pph22) for completion of the export procedure:

  • Purchase tax locally of 1,5% before SKAB issued
  • Royalty tax of 5%
  • Customs tax of 1,5% before PEB issued

If the above items are not paid in full the holder of the ET under which the cargo has been declared will not be able gain PEB (Export Permit) to enable Agents to process the clearance documents to receive sailing permit.

We understand that some shippers/suppliers who have IUP/OP permit have faced issues with vessels being delayed due to non‐payment in full of local tax (1.5%) prior to SKAB is issued.

Recently Jakarta Head Customs Office have begun to crackdown on these practices by blocking system to stop PEB issuance until all taxes / royalties are paid in full for all previous shipments.

The Coal Export regulation remains the same as per Trade Ministry 2014.

  • Coal Shipper / Supplier should hold ET (Listed Exporter)
  • Payment duty tax & royalty required in full after completion of loading
  • Sending Coal Export report on monthly basis

If all the above requirements are complete, then there will there is no issue to receive PEB (export permit). PEB is required by agent to arrange Sailing Permit at Harbour Master. The vessel cannot sail without holding Sailing Permit.

Ben Line Agencies Philippine’s Handles 6th Largest Cruise Ship in the World

The 348 meters Ovation of the Seas in the fender-less Alava Pier of Subic. Ben Line Agencies Philippines arranged the Yokohama fenders.

The months of planning and coordination with various government agencies, port operators, vendors and different business units of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) paid off with the successful maiden calls in Subic and Manila of the Quantum Class cruise ship – MS Ovation of the Seas. This is the largest cruise ship to visit the country and seen to open the gateway for similar vessels to visit the Philippines.

The MS Ovation of the Seas is an 18-deck ship 348 meters long, has a gross tonnage of 168,666, a maximum occupancy of 4,905 passengers and is considered the sixth biggest cruise ship in the world today.

RCI acknowledged the hard work and contribution of Ben Line Agencies Philippines in making this important milestone happen. Realizing the vision did not come easy with additional challenges brought about by the closure of Boracay island, the delay in dredging of South Harbor (cruise berth) and all the birth pains of bringing the largest ever cruise ship to enter the Philippines.

We now set our eyes on the next cruise giant – the MS Voyager of the Seas scheduled to arrive in Manila on July 20 with even deeper draft (9.1 meters) than MS Ovation of The Seas.

Ben Line Agencies Japan assists in rescue operation of Chinese Fisherman in the Pacific Ocean

On Friday 18th May, an emergency request call came in to the Ben Line Agencies Japan (BLAJ) Operations team through Japan Fisheries Association asking for all necessary assistances to rescue an injured crew from a Chinese fishing boat which was operating 220 miles SSE of Kushiro, Hokkaido. The 29-year old crew member was hit by a jumped anchor rope and was in a coma.

The BLAJ Operations team immediately contacted the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters of Japan Coast Guard to rescue the injured crew by Japan Coast Guard (JCG) helicopter.

A helicopter was scrambled to rescue the crew from the fishing boat and successfully lifted him at 15:30LT in the Pacific Ocean. After a quick replenishment of fuel on board a JCG patrol ship, the helicopter landed at Kushiro at 18:00LT and the injured crew arrived at a hospital at 18:30LT. All C.I.Q. formalities have been arranged in Kushiro.

After medical treatment, the fisherman was discharged from hospital on Thursday 24th May together with 2 BLAJ staff members, including a native Chinese speaker, who had flown from Tokyo to Hokkaido to escort him up until his repatriation to Shanghai on 25th May.

This was the 6th emergency rescue operation since the beginning of 2017 where BLAJ has successfully executed agency tasks of this kind.

BLAJ and the Ben Line Agencies group considers the wellbeing and safety of all fishermen and its duty as agents to provide all the necessary assistance where personnel and vessels encounter challenging and hazardous conditions whilst at sea.

Meanwhile, BLAJ received a special appreciation letter from the Chinese principal on Monday 4th June.