In order to create supply chains that are more resilient, the state of Western Australia is looking into majorly promoting coastal shipping.
The issue of coastal shipping in Australia is once again making headlines. The issue was brought up during the national elections in May, and the state of Western Australia is now looking into it once more as a way to have supply chains that are more resilient.
When floods struck South Australia at the beginning of the year, Western Australia’s primary rail connection to the east coast was cut off for more than three weeks, causing certain goods in local supermarkets to run out.
The state government then set up a taskforce to look into ways to strengthen freight and supply chains, possibly by bringing back an interstate shipping route.
“Some of the initial talks are around a seven-day turnaround, with two vessels running from east to west,” Taskforce co-chair Kyle McGinn told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week.
“Shipping hasn’t had this chance in over 30 years, when it needs to be a crucial part of the supply chain here in Washington.” The delivery is consistent. “It never stops,” McGinn stated.
The nation’s shipowners association, Shipping Australia, has repeatedly rejected the idea of establishing a national cargo fleet.
A post on the organization’s website from earlier this year states, “Similar nationalist policies have been tried in the past – both here and in the United States – and they have been profound failures.”
This year, neighboring New Zealand has made significant changes to coastal shipping.
Local unions hailed the decision made by the New Zealand government in May to invest NZ$30 million, or 19.4 million dollars, in a coastal shipping initiative as the “biggest turnaround for the industry this century.”
Michael Wood, minister of transportation at the time, stated: The government is making investments to make coastal shipping a more viable alternative to strengthen and diversify our domestic supply chain in order to secure New Zealand’s recovery from covid-19. Coastal shipping is a small but crucial component of the New Zealand freight system. Investing in coastal shipping, a mode of transportation with lower emissions, will also assist us in achieving our decarbonization objectives.
Coastal Bulk Shipping, Move International, Swire Shipping, and Westland Mineral Sands have been chosen to receive funding.
Maersk started a dedicated coastal shipping service in New Zealand in June with the goal of “restoring network reliability” to the supply chains that have been hurt.
Two 2,500 teu ships from Maersk Coastal Connect now provide weekly port coverage of Tauranga, Timaru, and Lyttelton, as well as twice weekly coverage of Nelson and Auckland.
In related news, MOVE Logistics, a transport and logistics company based in New Zealand, announced this week that it will launch its first trans-Tasman shipping line in the fourth quarter as part of its new Oceans business.
MOVE has acquired the geared 350 teu Atlas Wind for a monthly voyage that will transport goods across the Tasman to Tasmania and other Australian east coast ports from regional New Zealand ports like Nelson, Timaru, New Plymouth, and Bluff.