Sea Swift begins new international shipping service between WA and Singapore

8 February 2021

Sea Swift – northern Australia’s largest shipping company – has announced the schedule for its highly-anticipated international shipping service connecting the Pilbara in Western Australia via Singapore to the world.

The service, which starts this month, will see a 99-metre vessel – the Karratha Bay – ply Sea Swift’s new route, making up to two nine-day sailings per month between Dampier and Singapore.

The first voyage saw the Karratha Bay leave Singapore last Friday (5 February), arriving in Dampier this Sunday (14 February).

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 new service positions Sea Swift as one of the key remote logistics providers for the continued development of Northern Australia.

“The start of the service this month 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 time and 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 is based on a regular scheduled roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight operation model, which is 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,” said Mr Bruno.

“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.

“The RORO service is preferred because it can operate both containers and break-bulk cargo efficiently and achieve fast port turnaround times, 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 is a permanent fixture in Sea Swift’s Northern Australia shipping network, and also connects the company’s routes with global freight networks.

“We’re in this for the long-haul, with cost-effective container, breakbulk and RORO cargo services 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, opening the door for increased trade and services across Northern Australia, and positioning Sea Swift as one of the key remote logistics providers for the continued development of Northern Australia.”

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

“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 transhipment port.”

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