You might remember that in November last year I wrote about the huge benefits that would accrue to our area if we could bring cargo directly in to the Port of Dampier, instead of coming via Perth.
The City funded a study which indicated an incredible 6.54 million tonnes per annum of freight comes in and out of the Pilbara, but 90% of this, or 5.9 million tonnes, moves through Perth.
The study indicated that we could slash the cost of freight transport by up to 50% and the time required to get it here by 70% if the freight came directly into Dampier.
In November 2019, work was proceeding on trying to make direct freight happen.
Well on Thursday evening last week at the KDCCI Business-After-Hours event, 100% Australian-owned shipping company Sea Swift announced it will be launching a dedicated international shipping service to and from Dampier in January 2021.
The service will establish a direct sea freight link between Dampier and Singapore, providing a faster and cheaper alternative and improving connectivity for Karratha to nearby international markets.
A newly refurbished 99-metre vessel called the Karratha Bay will make an average of two sailings per month between Dampier and Singapore. The vessel is a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) model and will undertake a regular scheduled liner service that will inter-line with global freight networks.
Qube is currently constructing a quarantine base at Dampier to enable the Dampier RORO facility to be a First Point of Entry.
Less than Container Load (LCL) shipping - where various cargo shipments share the same container – will be available for smaller loads.
This new Dampier Freight Link will connect the Pilbara with the world and represents another step toward our goal of being Australia’s most liveable regional city.