April 1 - A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Tasmanian government and Swire Shipping has expired, due to the economic case for a direct international service linking Tasmania to global markets no longer being sustainable.
The Australian Government's recent decision to extend the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) to include international export freight transhipped via Melbourne has materially changed the strategic context of the MoU that was signed in November 2014, said Swire Swipping.
The Tasmanian Government has encouraged Swire Shipping to continue to fully explore all commercial opportunities arising from the current environment. Swire Shipping says that while it recognises that the extension of the TFES will be positive for the Tasmanian market in the short term, a solution for the medium to long term requirements of Tasmanian exporters remains uncertain.
Swire Shipping country manager Brodie Stevens said: "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 says that it will continue to develop the Australia Pacific Asia (APA) service from Bell Bay to key ports in Asia.