Freight change delivers financial hurt

Shippers, importers and exporters likely to suffer after Asia Australia Alliance scratches weekly calls at Bell Bay and Fremantle

By Ruza Zivkusic | February 17, 2011

Shippers, importers and exporters are likely to suffer from the Asia Australia Alliance consortium’s decision to scratch weekly calls at Bell Bay and Fremantle.

Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council CEO Rob McGuire says companies will feel the pinch because international trade will go through Melbourne from April 24. He says it is too early to tell the full cost of the consortium’s decision.

"It’s going to increase costs but we don’t know how much it’s going to increase, it’s too difficult to say," he says.

"I think the service has been under threat for some time, there’s been a number of things happening which hasn’t assisted the service."

But Tasmanian Transport Association Executive Director Robin Phillips does not believe it will mean much difference.

"There’s a strong chance that another shipping line will take up the vacancy, it might be just a very minor issue at this stage," Phillips says.

"The shipping lines in Melbourne will remain the same. As the matter of fact they may even increase the number of trips, might end up with an increase in the level of service in availability."

ATN believes Agility Shipping is expected to pick up extra business following the AAA’s pullout from Bell Bay, but calls to the company were not returned.

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