New international service between WA and Singapore completes milestone first voyage

25 February 2021

Sea Swift’s highly-anticipated international shipping service connecting the Pilbara in Western Australia via Singapore to the world has completed its milestone first voyage, arriving in Dampier from Asia.

The service sees 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.

Sea Swift Acting Chief Executive Officer Lino Bruno said the first operational trial which saw the Karratha Bay arrive in Dampier from Singapore over the weekend had been a huge success.

“The service is based on a regular scheduled roll-on, roll-off (RORO) freight operation model, which is unique to the Pilbara region,” he said.

“On arrival for the first time in Dampier, the vessel RORO ramp to the berth proved to be an excellent fit and was successfully trialled with road haul on-board, while the berthing arrangement is also highly suitable for high and heavy RORO cargo on any tide.

“The vessel then backloaded pipe for the Middle East via Singapore, which was the first use of the new interline cargo system connecting Dampier to the rest of the world.”

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

Mr 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 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.

“Sea Swift is not only highly experienced in serving remote communities, but we are also a highly-experienced RORO ship operator.

“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 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.

Qube Ports Director Michael Sousa said his company is proud to be supporting the inaugural Sea Swift Dampier to Singapore shipping service with its purpose-built RORO port facilities and services in Dampier Port, and its port services at Jurong Port in Singapore.

“Qube is committed to delivering supply chain excellence in the Pilbara trade, and has invested in a new purpose-built wash bay at our Dampier Port facility to meet Australia’s strict quarantine biosecurity requirements,” Mr Sousa said.

“Qube looks forward to a long and successful relationship with Sea Swift, and becoming a vital cog in the supply chain connecting Dampier to the world markets.”