DP World Australia, Tasports Bet on Cabotage Law Changes

Container terminal stevedore DP World Australia has entered into an exclusive agreement with the Tasmanian Ports Corporation (Tasports) under which the two parties will work together to provide an international container terminal at the Port of Burnie in North West Tasmania.

The proposal is subject to the enactment of the Coastal Shipping Act 2015 which will allow container vessels operated by international shipping lines to carry domestic containerized freight between Australian ports. The Coastal Shipping Act 2015 resolution or amendments are expected in the week of November 9, 2015.

The provisional launch date for the new facility is January 2017, and the terminal is expected to provide 40 new jobs, with the workforce growing to over 60 in a few years.

 “We believe that the time is right to develop such a facility in Tasmania,” Brian Gillespie, Chief Corporate Development Officer at DP World Australia, said.

“The proposed changes in the Coastal Shipping Act 2015 will make it attractive for international container shipping lines to call at Tasmania if suitable facilities exist.”

Under the deal, DP World’s investment would include the refurbishing of the existing ship-to-shore crane, constructing a ship-to-shore crane, developing a container yard, integrating the yard with the existing rail terminal, and providing yard container handling equipment.An artist's impression of the DP World Burnie international container portGillespie also said that allowing access to regular international container services would significantly reduce shipping costs for export and import containerized freight.

“On our estimates, the cost of shipping a 20-foot container from Tasmania to Shanghai would reduce from around AUD 2,800 to around AUD 1,350,” Gillespie said.

“The costs of freight to domestic locations such as Sydney and Brisbane would attract similar tariff reductions which would be a substantial boost for Tasmanian producers.”

The Port of Burnie had been chosen as the most suitable for providing such facilities. Tasports’ recently delivered 30 Year Port Plan clearly identified Burnie as the state’s future largest natural gateway for container freight into and out of the State.

”Tasports will work with DP World Australia to investigate the supporting port infrastructure requirements including channels, berth capacity and enhancements to navigational aids and technology,” Tasports CEO Paul Weedon said. “Once fully developed, the new container terminal is planned to handle the equivalent of 200,000 TEUs per annum.”