24/11/2020 - 15:54

Second shipping service for Pilbara

24/11/2020 - 15:54

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Businesses in the Pilbara will soon have better access to international supply chains after shipping company Sea Swift announced a regular, scheduled service between Singapore and Dampier.

Second shipping service for Pilbara
Lino Bruno says Sea Swift's Dampier shipping service has opened the door for increased trade and services.

Businesses in the Pilbara will soon have better access to international supply chains after shipping company Sea Swift announced a regular, scheduled service between Singapore and Dampier.

This comes just a few weeks after global shipping line ANL commenced a direct connection between Singapore and Port Hedland.

The new services are forecast to substantially reduce the amount of freight hauled by road from Perth to the Pilbara.

The state government has estimated they will replace 20 per cent of the current overland freight task.

The new shipping service into Port Hedland followed upgrades to cargo inspection and treatment processes to meet Federal biosecurity requirements.

This included permanent wash bays to allow for full fumigation and biosecurity cleaning of all products and equipment.

Currently there are no approved biosecurity facilities in Dampier but Sea Swift's terminal operator QUBE Holdings is installing required infrastructure and seeking federal government approvals.

The new shipping services will add to the small volume of imports coming into the Pilbara.

Sea Swift and ANL will be targeting a wide range of general freight imports, from tyres and chemicals to construction material and personal effects.

Sea Swift, which currently services nearly a dozen ports across northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, is also looking for export opportunities, in areas such as recyclables and agricultural produce.

Its Dampier service, scheduled to start next month, will utilise a 99-metre vessel – the Karratha Bay.

Acting chief executive Lino Bruno said the Dampier service opened the door for increased trade and services.

“Servicing the area directly with a liner service will not only reduce the cost of doing business in the region, but importantly, will significantly reduce the carbon impact on the existing supply chain by shortening the supply chain and reducing multiple handling steps,” he said.

The service will be based on a scheduled 20-day roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight operation, which Sea Swift said was unique in the Pilbara region.

“The RORO service is preferred because it can operate both containers and break-bulk cargo efficiently and achieve fast port turnaround times, for example in just 24 hours, which is essential for a direct international service like this,” Mr Bruno added.

“The RORO model for scheduled freight services has never been operated before in the Pilbara, and is not only efficient but also safe, avoiding the need to lift cargo across a wharf, which is a key safety requirement for some companies.”

ANL announced last month it would provide a regular direct connection between Singapore and Port Hedland for both containerised as well as break-bulk and out-of-gauge cargo.

The service will sail from Singapore every 20 days and offers an eight day transit to Port Hedland.

ANL’s general manager Intra-Oceania Chris Peck said connecting the world to the Pilbara direct from Singapore was a game changer for the zone.

“Shorter supply chains, less trucks on the road, wider sourcing options, export cargo opportunities: it just makes sense,” he said.

ANL is a subsidiary of French shipping giant CMA CGM, a member of Shipping Australia.

The new services come 25 years after government-owned operated Stateships, which ran between Perth and the state’s north, was shut down.

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