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Prime Mover Magazine

Swire Shipping closure opens door for road transport

Tasmanian Forestry industries in the southern part of the state will need to look at transport alternatives following news that Swire Shipping is pulling out in early September.

Operating at less than a third of its capacity since 2016, the Singapore-based international freight line, offered fortnightly services largely for the export of residue wood products.

It had two multi-purpose vessels dedicated to fixed-fortnightly services between ports in Australia and New Zealand.

The decision is expected to impact the forestry sector, which had relied on bulk containers for much of its export logging.

A subsidiary of China Navigation, Swire Shipping had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tasmanian Government. But the arrangement was altered by the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme expansion to include international exports bound for Melbourne making “the economic case for a direct international service linking Tasmania to global markets,” the company said was, “no longer sustainable.”

Jeremy Sutton, Swire Shipping General Manager said it was a difficult decision to take in an issued statement.

“We would like to thank the Tasmanian business community, our valued customers, staff and service providers for their support over the last two years.”

Many of its Tasmanian customers will be forced to transport goods north by road and rail.

Swire has been shipping to Australia and the Asia Pacific region since 1883.

Last year the company announced its plans to increase transit times to Townsville in North Queensland where it has established one of five offices. It employs a hundred people across ports in Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney.

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