'Competitive' trucking put paid to Jebsens

WA Government exploring coastal shiipping alternatives including truck-carrying ship

'Competitive' trucking put paid to Jebsens
'Competitive' trucking put paid to Jebsens
By Rob McKay | August 21, 2013

Competition from the trucking industry was a major driving force in pushing shipping company Jebsens out of the Western Australian coastal trade, the WA Government has confirmed.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell put the withdrawal down to a combination of pressure from
land transport and international direct sea links.

"The State Government contract with Jebens Shipping paid an $8 million per annum subsidy to underwrite the provision of a shipping service to the north of the state," Buswell explains.

"Jebsens advised the Government that despite the subsidy the service had struggled to attract trade and was losing more than $50,000 per voyage, excluding overheads.

"Due to competitive rates charged by road transport and foreign shipping companies into the north-west, the local service was unable to compete."

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls noted that Jebsens had hoped to build up a market for its services to the point that it would not need the subsidy.

It had been carrying containerised bulk building material, he says.

In the meantime, the WA Department of Transport indicates that the shipping route is yet to be abandoned.

"A number of shipping lines have shown interest since the Jebsens announcement," it says.

"They have been encouraged to put forward alternative models to make coastal shipping work on this coast."

Grylls appeared to indicate on an ABC radio interview that he was in talks with a vehicular ferry company that had a view to taking truck combinations on board.

"That’s in its concept phase," he says.

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