Swire Drops Brisbane to Darwin Coastal Service

China Navigation-operated liner shipping company Swire Shipping has canceled Brisbane to Darwin coastal service, industry body Shipping Australia Limited said.

According to Shipping Australia Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Rod Narin, the decision was triggered by burdening Coastal Trading regulations imposed by Australia’s Fair Work Commission, the costs of which are outweighing revenue.

The Coastal Trading Act is believed to have introduced numerous regulatory burdens on both foreign ships and domestic shipping companies.

Australian ports handled 97.4 million tonnes of coastal freight during 2012-13, an almost 2% decrease on 2011-12, indicative of a longer-term trend of decreasing amounts of coastal trade.

Swire Shipping said that the costs to operate a domestic shipping service between Brisbane and Darwin have increased substantially in the wake of changes to Australia coastal shipping legislation introduced in June 2012, and the requirement to pay non-Australian crew working on the Australian coast at Australian wage levels, rendering the service unsustainable.

“Swire Shipping will continue to monitor our customer’s requirements in the future, and will look to recommence the service should demand for freight solutions between Brisbane and Darwin once again reach sustainable levels,” the company said.

The last voyage  from Brisbane to Darwin will be carried out by Kweichow 1505N, which will sail from Brisbane on April 7th, returning from Darwin on 21st of April, 2015.

The company operates a monthly liner service connecting both North Asia and South East Asia with the Pacific Region and Australasia.

World Maritime News Staff