Sea Swift launches new international shipping service between WA and Singapore

23 November 2020

(Foreground from left): Sea Swift’s Acting CEO Lino Bruno, with GAC Singapore’s Managing Director, Henrik Althén and his team in a virtual signing ceremony.

Sea Swift – northern Australia’s largest shipping company – has announced it will be launching a dedicated international shipping service in January 2021, connecting the Pilbara in Western Australia with Singapore.

The service will see a 99-metre vessel – the Karratha Bay – ply Sea Swift’s new route, making an average of two sailings per month between Dampier and Singapore.

Sea Swift has appointed integrated shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC as principal carrier agent under the agreement.

Sea Swift Acting Chief Executive Officer Lino Bruno said the announcement positions Sea Swift as one of the key remote logistics providers for the continued development of Northern Australia.

“This marks a significant milestone for Sea Swift, and opens the door for increased trade and services across the region, and internationally,” said Mr Bruno.

“Servicing the area directly with a liner service will not only reduce the cost of doing business in the region, but importantly, will significantly reduce the carbon impact on the existing supply chain by shortening the supply chain and reducing multiple handling steps.

The service will be based on a regular scheduled 20-day roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight operation model, which will be unique to the Pilbara region.

“Sea Swift is not only highly experienced in serving remote communities, but we are also a highly-experienced RORO ship operator, and we understand clearly that in remote and regional Australia businesses and government cannot have the confidence to build or extend their services without the reliance on regular scheduled logistics supply chains,” said Mr Bruno.

“The RORO service is preferred because it can operate both containers and break-bulk cargo efficiently and achieve fast port turnaround times, for example in just 24 hours, which is essential for a direct international service like this.

“The RORO model for scheduled freight services has never been operated before in the Pilbara, and is not only efficient but also safe, avoiding the need to lift cargo across a wharf, which is a key safety requirement for some companies.”

The new service will be a permanent fixture in Sea Swift’s Northern Australia shipping network, and will also connect the company’s routes with global freight networks.

“We’re in this for the long-haul, with cost-effective containerisation direct from anywhere in the world utilising our freight agent GAC through Singapore to the Pilbara on a regular basis in this manner for the first time ever,” said Mr Bruno.

“The world is now at our customers doorstep and this marks a significant milestone for Sea Swift, opens the door for increased trade and services across Northern Australia, and positions Sea Swift as one of the key remote logistics providers for the continued development of Northern Australia.”

Under the agreement, GAC will provide complete liner agency services to Sea Swift RORO vessels carrying containerised and breakbulk cargoes between the ports of Singapore and Dampier in Western Australia.

The services include ship agency, husbandry, cargo services with GAC as the main contact point for customers in Singapore, Dampier/Karratha and Fremantle, container sourcing, management and control, port operations, documentation, financial governance, customer care, as well as equipment handling.

“Western Australia is home to major resources and petroleum projects, so we anticipate that demand for this direct link between two key hubs will rise steadily to facilitate the transfer of general and breakbulk cargo,” said Henrik Althén, Managing Director of GAC Singapore.

“It is likely to be further bolstered by the growing imports and exports generated by developing economies in Asia, post-COVID-19, with Singapore acting as a transshipment port.”

For more information on the service, visit Sea Swift’s Dampier-Direct web page.