Toll shipyard deal to build two freight ferries

Bass Strait trade to gain more capacity before 2020

Toll shipyard deal to build two freight ferries
Toll's shipping arm will see old ships replaced


It can’t really compare with the sort of global ship-owner fleet competition that has seen the demise of Hanjin, but Bass Strait is seeing a new generation of freight ferries in the offing.

Chas Kelly’s SeaRoad has stolen a march with its SeaRoad Mersey II hull already afloat and a replacement for the Tamar also being built in Germany.

Now Toll’s long-flagged fleet upgrade has been announced, with $170 million to be spent in China on two new ships to support trade between Victoria and Tasmania and to "meet the demands of continued growth".

The new, purpose-built ships, operating between Burnie and Melbourne, will provide 40 per cent more freight capacity, more opportunities to transport refrigerated freight for Tasmania’s growing chilled export market and more flexibility for customer deliveries, it says.

They will be available in late 2018 and replace Toll’s existing ships, continuing to operate overnight services, six days a week.

"This significant investment underscores Toll’s commitment to the Australian market and the integral role that we play in connecting Tasmania to our vast global network," Toll Group MD Brian Kruger says.

Jinling Shipyard won the shipbuilding contract following a global competitive tender process.

Toll says it has worked closely with the Port of Melbourne to secure an additional seven hectares to provide the land side infrastructure to support the increased freight capacity of the new ships.

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