The decision of the Australian government to extend Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) will be positive for the country’s market in the short term, however; a solution for the medium to long term needs of Tasmanian exporters remains uncertain, according to Swire Shipping.
Namely, the Australian Government decided to extend the TFES to include international export freight transhipped via Melbourne altering the strategic context of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Tasmanian Government and liner shipping division of the China Navigation Company (CNCo), that was signed in November 2014.
“Obviously, the recent decision by the Federal Government to inject an additional $203 million into the TFES will have a substantial impact on freight equalisation and the cost of exporting freight from Tasmania. As such, given this materially different strategic context, it was not possible to reach an agreement with Swire under the terms of the MoU and given the MoU has now expired, these negotiations with Swire have concluded,” said Will Hodgman, Tasmania’s Premier.
Even though the MoU expired, the Tasmanian Government has encouraged Swire Shipping to continue to explore all commercial opportunities arising from the current environment.
“Our interest is to work with partners in Tasmania to develop long term, competitive and direct international shipping services. Given recent developments, the current market does not support this objective. However we confirm our commitment to Tasmanian shippers who have been extremely supportive of our efforts,” Swire Shipping’s Country Manager, Brodie Stevens, pointed out.
Swire Shipping said it would continue to develop the Australia Pacific Asia (APA) service from Bell Bay to key ports in Asia.
Tasmania has been without an international service since 2011, when Agility Shipping canceled its Bell Bay route. The country’s exporters have been severely affected by the lack of an international shipping route.
World Maritime News Staff