Exclusive, Good News, Gemilang Tarigan: 80 Percent Of Truckers Get Started

The declining condition of PPKM has created great hope for many people, including those who are engaged in logistics transportation. According to Drs. Gemilang Tarigan MBA, General Chairperson of the DPP Aptrindo (Indonesian Truck Entrepreneurs Association) along with the improving conditions have made the hope even greater. Currently, he said, 80 percent of truckers are operating their fleets.


Aptrindo as a shelter for truck entrepreneurs in Indonesia was declared on August 19, 2014, at the Sunlake Hotel, Sunter Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta. There are 48 trucking companies from various regions throughout Indonesia who participated in the establishment of Aptrindo. Now there are 34 Regional Managers (DPW) and 24 Branch Managers (DPC) of Aptrindo spread throughout Indonesia. The number of members currently registered is 2,500 trucking companies.

According to data from the Indonesian National Police compiled in 2020, there are currently 6.5 million trucks operating throughout Indonesia. Of that number, 44 thousand units are registered on special port transportation containers throughout Indonesia.

Indeed, truck entrepreneurs during the pandemic are not at all prohibited from operating their fleets. However, the amount of goods transported has decreased drastically. Because many sectors have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, their production numbers have been significantly corrected. Only basic necessities, medicines, and health-related goods are still in production. As a result, many truckers do not run their fleets, the number of goods transported decreases.

During the pandemic, said Tarigan, Aptrindo members tried to survive in various ways. Most commonly done is scheduling entry for truck drivers because the number of goods transported decreases. “So the drivers who enter take turns or take turns. However, because this pandemic condition is not short-lived, some are still able to survive, but some are forced to lay off or lay off some employees so they can continue to survive," said Gemilang Tarigan who was elected as the General Chair of Aptrindo for the 2014-2019 term of service, and continued for the second period of 2019-2014.

Fortunately, the condition of PPKM in various regions is decreasing. This also has an impact on improving the performance of Aptrindo members. According to Tarigan, the latest data on its members is getting more and more encouraging. "This is starting to creep up, probably around 80 percent of the members have now started to move," said Tarigan.

He shared stories about the problems faced by Aptrindo members during the pandemic, and his hopes for the government to provide relaxation, especially in paying credit installments to banks or financial institutions that provide loans. The following is an excerpt from the full interview with Iqbal Irsyad, Edy Suherli, Savic Rabos, and Rifai from VOI at the Aptrindo DPP office, recently.

Gemilang Tarigan. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

When the COVID-19 pandemic is at its peak, what are the difficulties experienced by truck entrepreneurs who are under Aptrindo? What is the percentage decrease in the percentage of employment? What is the average loss value borne by Aprtindo's friends?

This pandemic has been almost two years, during this pandemic the truck was not banned from operating. But the cargo is industrial goods that are also affected. Some are not producing at all during this pandemic. So there is no cargo that can be transported. During the first year of the pandemic, our members-only operated 40 percent of the trucks, the remaining 60 percent of the trucks were parked in the garage. This is the problem faced by Aptrindo members during this pandemic.

So far, how many members of Aptrindo are there and how many trucks are registered throughout Indonesia?

There are about 6.5 million trucks across Indonesia. During this pandemic, 40 percent of trucks are operating. And it serves the transportation of food and basic needs, medicines, and goods related to medical devices. Also operating are small trucks that serve expeditions for online character materials.

Our members now are 2,500 trucking companies. They are spread over 34 Regional Administrators (DPW) and 24 Branch Managers (DPC) of Aptrindo throughout Indonesia.

Many have been affected by the pandemic, are there companies that lay off their employees?

At first, our members implemented a turn-in system for drivers. However, because this pandemic lasts for a short time, there are companies that are still strong and some have to be realistic and do housing or lay off employees so that the company can survive.

Now, with the decline in PPKM, what percentage has moved?

The decline in PPKM has indeed raised hope for us. The production sector is starting to get excited again. The volume of goods transported began to increase. Now, the latest data that I received, the percentage of trucks that have started running has reached 80 percent. Hopefully, this number will continue to increase so that it can be an indicator of the recovery of our economy and can escape the pandemic that has affected many people.

In my opinion, Indonesia is good for implementing the PPKM pattern, so there is no total lockdown. So even though there are restrictions, there are still those who can move and along with the decline in PPKM the number that can move is increasing. Since six months ago, there has been movement until now it has reached around 80 percent of the number of trucks operating.

Gemilang Tarigan. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

What is your estimate when it will return to normal?

We do need time to return to normal as before the pandemic. My estimate is about two years to return to normal position. But now the progress that has occurred has been very encouraging. This is a very good development. Hopefully, it can be consistent and continue to improve so that it can return to how it used to be before the pandemic. Now our members are starting to clean up after being hit by the pandemic.

For credit payments there is relaxation from the government, does this help?

It is true that there is relaxation, it is only a delay in payment. The obligation to pay arrears must still be carried out. This is hard for us. What we hope is that if the government can cut interest rates, the burden will be lighter.

If you compare it to other vehicle loans, how do you compare the interest rates in your sector?

The interest for the logistics transportation industry, especially trucks, is very high. So different from private passenger transport. We'll see if the interest rate can be three percent or even zero percent. While we in the field of logistics transportation, the interest can reach 12 percent a year, this is still a normal interest. This is a burden for us. Therefore, we ask the government to pay attention to trucking entrepreneurs, so that the loan interest rate can be reduced. During this recovery period, if possible, the interest will be zero percent. Later after the situation recovered again as before.

What is the average price of 1 container truck today? How much income can you get from one truck, for example for a distance of 50 kilometers?

Truck prices are getting more expensive now. Now it's over Rp1 billion. For onder transport containers with a distance of 50 kilometers, the estimate is 2 million. From there 50 percent for operations. With such income, one truck purchased by leasing, cannot afford to pay the installments. In order to be able to pay, it must be subsidized from the previous truck that has been paid off.

What about toll fees in our country?

Tolls for us are expensive in my opinion. From Jakarta to Surabaya can reach Rp 1 also the cost. This is also a problem for us, this burden does not want to be borne by the owner of the goods. While we are also heavy, in the end, inevitably, it is charged to consumers. The selling price increases. Even though only 10 percent of the toll road to Java has passed, that is also the motivation to avoid weighing bridges on arterial roads. Not for efficiency by passing the toll road. We have conveyed this to the government so that the toll road tariff can be in favor of logistics transport entrepreneurs.

By Christmas and New Years how much increase in trucking?

In normal years, the increase in logistics transportation activity at the end of the year could reach 20 to 30 percent. It seems that this year will also be the same because first, apart from increasing demand, people are also pursuing year-end targets. Companies pursuing targets, they must boost sales. Actually this is an opportunity for us. But there are obstacles at the end of the year, traffic jams and restrictions.

Air logistics transportation during the pandemic has increased dramatically, how do you see this? Actually, the most efficient shipping is by air, sea, or land?

During a pandemic, there is an urgent situation. When the expected cheaper sea freight cannot, while medicines and medical devices must be distributed quickly, the choice then goes to airplane cargo. Indeed, the most efficient is shipping by sea, then train, then truck, and finally air if cost. But if you consider time, it is indeed air cargo, but at a higher cost. So if the industry has risen, each transportation sector will enjoy everything equally, because each mode of logistics transportation has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The wisdom of this pandemic has made the logistics industry more sophisticated and efficient. In the past, from Garut, for example, sending goods was increased by 1 Colt Diesel and brought to Jakarta. With the current system, the goods are sent to one point, for example East Jakarta or North Jakarta, from this point they will be distributed via small trucks and even motorbikes. This makes logistics costs low. Users can enjoy this cheap shipping. Fast delivery makes the volume of goods sent also increases.

What about the ODOL truck, what kind of coaching does Aptrindo as an organization do?

The existence of ODOL trucks is a classic problem, yes. ODOL is a truck that is overloaded or over-dimension overloading (ODOL). This overload occurs because they want a larger load. ODOL is because the rules are different from one region to another. According to the law, the transport capacity must be adjusted to the roads in the area. In a smaller area compared to trucks passing through the city. If based on the standard rules, the carrying capacity is very small.

Because psychologically it was wrong with the excessive load finally the truck driver became the target of people on the streets. It could be thugs or unscrupulous officers who take advantage of this situation. I think this should be brought under control by the government.

Regarding the rules for entering logistics trucks that are not the same in each area, how do you see it?

Any rules that are applied to logistics transportation such as hours of entry in an area or city must be applied wisely. The problem is that if it is applied carelessly, it will have an impact on increasing logistics transportation costs. If this burden is delegated to logistics entrepreneurs they will not be able to afford it, in the end, it will be borne by consumers. So consumers are also harmed if there is an inappropriate policy.

Gemilang Tarigan Has a Trick to Take Care of Your Health after a Stroke

Gemilang Tarigan. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

It is undeniable that health is the most valuable asset for everyone. Likewise for Drs. Gemilang Tarigan MBA, General Chairperson of Aptrindo (Indonesian Truck Entrepreneurs Association). He really took care of his health after suffering a stroke four years ago. Now his condition has improved and he is recovering. This father of two children really takes care of his health.

Early in the morning, we were confirmed to have a special interview and photoshoot session with Aptrindo's leadership. The location chosen is the DPP Aptrindo head office which is located in the Koja number, Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta.

Before the appointed time at 10.00 WIB, we arrived at the Aptrindo DPP office, which was on the side of the Sulawesi Raya road. This road is not far from the largest port in Indonesia and is never empty of various trucks carrying large containers.

About 30 minutes before the agreed time for the interview a jeep arrived. It turned out to be driven by the owner of the car; Brilliant Tarigan. "Wow, are you still able to drive this yourself, sir?" we asked a light question after greeting him.

"Yes, I'm still driving myself, just take it slow," said the man who was born in Medan, April 11, 1954, excitedly.

He explained that the business of driving and other work he took care of himself. The goal is to train sensitivity and concentration. Because Tarigan had not long ago had to fight against the stroke that attacked him. “Now it's okay, I'm gradually recovering like before. That's why it must be maintained, one of them with activities like this," said the man who was handled by Dr. dr. Terawan Agus Putranto, Sp.Rad., until he can recover from a stroke.

Tarigan admits that his lifestyle was less than ideal before he had a stroke. “Before the stroke, I smoked strongly. In the matter of eating there are no restrictions, everything is eaten. Lack of rest too. While sports are barely done. So that's how I am," he said.


Gemilang Tarigan. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Tarigan increasingly understands the importance of health after he was successfully recovered from the stroke that hit him. "Sports that are age-appropriate are very important to keep the body in shape," he said.

“I usually cycle around the housing before going to the office. No need to push yourself too much. The important thing is to sweat and train the muscles to do light movements that can relax the muscles," said Tarigan, who cycled for 10 kilometers.

Apart from sports, Tarigan said, food matters are equally important. Foods that are high in fat and contain cholesterol are now avoided. “Because I've had a stroke before, so I really have to take care of food matters. I avoid high fat and cholesterol foods. So that the stroke doesn't recur again," said the man who is also a member of the Jakarta City Transportation Council.

Even though he has set a rule of not wanting to eat the food he mentioned earlier, he sometimes violates it every now and then. "Indeed, I have certain dietary restrictions, but what can I do under forced circumstances? Yes, I eat too, but I can't eat too much. Just enough, you can taste it, hehehe," he said without specifying when he was trapped in that compulsion.

Now he is living a relaxed lifestyle. In his work at his company and in the organization he leads, he carries out work in a relaxed manner even though the burden he carries is sometimes not quite light. "No matter how heavy it is, we have to take it easy. If we force ourselves, it won't happen later, there's no need to stress now, just relax," he said.


Gemilang Tarigan. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

In addition to exercising and maintaining food, what Tarigan does to maintain his health is singing. “Singing not only makes us happy but also raises the spirit of life. I usually do karaoke to channel my hobby of singing,” said the man who likes songs from the Panbers, D'Lloyd, Deep Purple, Queen, and other groups.

During the pandemic when most activities are done at home, he sings at home with his family at home. “In these days what can't be done at home. The important thing is that we have an internet connection, everything can be done at home. This includes singing and karaoke," added the man who is also the Chairman of the North Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Commissariat.

Tarigan's two children have completed their studies in medicine. And both of them have become specialists. One worked in a hospital in the city of Solo and the other served in a hospital in Palembang. He was not disappointed even though none of his children continued his profession as a truck entrepreneur.


Even though he was separated from the city with his children and grandchildren, he still communicated with them. "If the children want me, I don't have to work anymore. But what if we don't work and are active, we become senile, hehehe. That's why I keep working but not forcing myself," he said.

“Every rule that is applied to logistics transportation such as the hours of entry in an area or city must be applied wisely. The problem is that if it is applied carelessly, it will have an impact on increasing logistics transportation costs. If this burden is delegated to logistics entrepreneurs, they will not be able to afford it, in the end, it will be borne by consumers. So consumers will also be harmed if there are inappropriate policies,"

Gemilang Tarigan