Pulse Stories: Setting Sail

The Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance (AIPEG) and Pulse Lab Jakarta jointly conducted a study on how to improve the import experience in Indonesia, which can contribute to the country’s international trade competitiveness. While the study started out with an investigation into how port dwelling times affect the import process, our study revealed pain points beyond the dwelling time.

Welcome to the fifth edition of Pulse Stories

In 2016, Indonesia ranked 63rd in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI), scoring low in almost all key measures, including timeliness. A component of timeliness is the port dwelling time (PDT), which ranges from the time a container is unloaded from the ship during pre-clearance process to the time customs releases goods from the temporary hoarding area in the post-clearance process.

Displeased with the unsatisfactory LPI ranking, President Joko Widodo urged for a PDT reduction from an average of 3.2–7 days to 2.2–5 days. However, our initial observation suggests that user experience pain points go beyond the PDT. Therefore, we decided to take a step back to examine the holistic import experience.

We employed a human-centred design process, which revealed that the import process is riddled with challenges — as well as opportunities. Mainly, we found that experience gaps between different types of importers, a distrust of the overall system, and interrupted information flow present many possibilities to improve the experience of those involved in the process.

Our discussions with importers, customs officials, logistics personnel, terminal operators, and shipping lines were complemented by results from a survey we distributed to hundreds of importers from various industries. This edition of Pulse Stories presents those findings and outlines how we combined our human-centred investigation with the quantitative findings from the survey.


Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support of the Government of Australia.