IOL Logistics

IOL Logistics – Indonesia

Christian Schmith

First of all Mr. Schmith tell us about your own shipping background and how you ended up in Indonesia.

I finished as an apprentice with a Ship Broker in Copenhagen at the age of 22. Shortly afterward I left for New York, where I started as a trainee with one of the big U.S. liner agents. I quickly rose through the ranks. After 4 years in New York, I felt I needed a change, and Asia was very appealing to me. Therefore, I decided to take up a job in Hong Kong with a local NVOCC.

After 5 very exciting years in Hong Kong, I moved to Jakarta in Indonesia, where I spent 7 interesting years working for a global freight forwarding company.

The route then took me to Singapore for a couple of years and then onto the fast-moving Shanghai for 4 years. After Shanghai, I returned to Singapore, where I now live and manage IOL Logistics’ activities from.

It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and I feel very privileged having lived and worked in some of the main areas of the shipping/logistics Industry, like New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai etc. This has given me vast experience in all aspects of the business, and a great network of contacts.

IOL Logistics

Indonesia is one of SE Asia’s tigers tell us a bit about the current economy, how is the country developing and how is the market there for project cargo and logistics?

Yes, Indonesia is the big tiger in SE Asia. After the financial crisis in the late 90’s Indonesia has steadily grown over the past 2 decades, and like the rest of SE Asia has been living in the shadows of China. However, over the last 5 years or so more and more focus has returned to SE Asia, especially Indonesia due to its vast population and growth potential.

In the meantime Indonesia’s population has grown to over 260 million people, making it the fourth most populated country in the World – a surprising fact to many. The population is very young and with an ever growing middle class, Indonesia is an interesting place to do business, and will likely be so for many years to come.


The official GDP figure for 2017 was +5% and for 2018 it is expected to push towards the 6% mark or over.

The political environment in Indonesia has been stable, enabling the government to push forward with a lot of infrastructure projects – from roads, mass transit systems to power plants etc. This will most definitely give many interesting opportunities within the project logistics segment in the coming years.

In addition, many investments are being made into the local production apparatus, which will also generate impending assignments of many different natures and sizes.


What is IOL Logistics company history and background?  What is your main line of business or shall we say your specialty in freight forwarding?

IOL Logistics Indonesia was initially established in 1999 under a different name, and a new management team joined in 2011. Since then the main activity has been general forwarding and project logistics with a heavy emphasis on imports. We are always striving towards being a local company with a “First in Class” approach in terms of service, client focus, and penetration.


Could you provide us with a couple of examples of project cargoes that you are proud to have transported for your customers?

Recent projects handled:
SIEMENS – Turbines, and parts for various power plants in the U.S.
SANYO – Dismantling and relocation of a compressor factory from Cikarang to Bangkok
DOCKWISE – Floatover project for a semi-submersible vessel at Batam Island
DYESTAR – Dismantling and re-shipping of injection moulding machines to Hamburg
BEZEMER – Shipping 5 power winches to Papua New Guinea
FIGEE – Shipping a 200-ton crane to Xinhui


Customs clearance I believe can be a tricky matter not only in Indonesia but also in other Asian countries, what kind of advice would you give overseas agents/clients who have cargo destined for Indonesia?

Customs Clearance in general and in Indonesia in particular, is a very delicate issue and in order to perform well it can only be done by licensed (PPJK=Indonesian Customs Brokerage License) and experienced professionals who have a complete knowledge and understanding of Indonesia’s specific customs regulations, tariffs and trade regulations.

IOL has PPJK licensed staff and over the years we have sent employees on PPJK courses to obtain the clearance license. Empowering through education is one of our values.

A rule of thumb is to cross-check whether the importer on record has all the required licenses and business and customs registrations before expediting a project or general freight shipment. Besides, all relevant shipping documents (Draft Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, etc.,) should be checked before final documentation is released and most importantly before submitting to Indonesian Customs. We also advise clients not to under-declare the value of the cargo.


Do you also have offices outside of Indonesia? What is planned in the future for IOL Group, will you expand further?

Besides Indonesia, we have a management office in Singapore and a smaller independent set-up in India. At this stage, we don’t have any plans to expand into other areas, as we prefer to maintain the focus on our current areas, and continue to consolidate and build these business units further.


How to get in touch with you?

Contacts: or

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