Tasmania looks for options as Agility withdraws


O’Byrne says other operators will take up Bell Bay slack but concern is high on road and cost impacts


August 25, 2011

Transport and logistics operators involved in the Bass Strait trade are coming to terms with the ramifications of Agility Shipping’s withdrawal of its Melbourne-Bell Bay service.

Agility’s container feeder ship, the Andrea, with capacity for 1104 teu, has been unable to secure a regular berth in Melbourne.

Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne has been forced to make two statements in the past week on the subject.

He insists there is enough capacity from the other Bass Strait shipping providers and other northern Tasmanian ports to cover the suspended service.

Toll ANL Bass Strait Shipping has two ships calling at Burnie and SeaRoad uses two calling at Devonport, while ferry operator TT-Line also has vehicle space on its two vessels also calling at Devonport.

Mr O’Byrne confirmed that "discussions were taking place between relevant parties and shipping line operators with a view to developing alternate solutions for shippers in the Bass Strait and international trades".

However, much concern in the state centres on the extra traffic to the other two ports from industries centred on Bell Bay and the extra cost - issues which are yet to be addressed publically.

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