The potential for growth in the industry is seen in PT Apex Indonesia’s volumes. In 2014, furniture volumes carried out of Jepara by Apex totalled 650 FFEs (forty feet equivalent). In 2015 so far, the figure is 736 FFEs.
Natural resources and labour
According to Bo Wegener, Cluster Top for Maersk Line Southeast Asia, Indonesia as a growth market can develop its trade infrastructure to capitalise on its vast resources.
“It is a very large country with a lot of natural resources and labour. In this vein, the supply chain for furniture has already been established, and Maersk Line hopes to contribute to the trade by bringing their products to the world,” he says.
Leveraging on craftsmanship
Despite the potential, M. Jamhari, Head of Indonesia Furniture and Craft Industry Association Jepara is confident that the industry faces huge challenges.
“Rivals such as Vietnam and China are heavy in mass production and machinery. To differentiate itself, Indonesia not only needs to develop its technology, but also leverage on its strength, which is craftsmanship,” M. Jamhari says.
“If this industry can be developed with good logistics, training and the right technology that complements craftsmanship, we can give a hope to younger people to consider this industry as a career,” M. Jamhari adds.