Sea Swift to suspend mothershipping services

14 July 2023

Northern Australia’s largest shipping company Sea Swift has announced it will suspend its mothershipping operations ahead of the upcoming prawn season.

“Sea Swift has been an industry participant in mothershipping since 1987, however with Queensland’s prawn fishing industry facing multiple industry challenges over the past few years, Sea Swift has confirmed the sector is not currently commercially viable to service,” said Sea Swift Chief Executive Officer Mr Dwayne Freeman.

“A recent contributor to industry change has seen a major mothershipping customer modify its operating model and introduce its own vessel, and as a consequence the organisation has no further need for our services.

“This change has had a significant impact on the overall commercial viability of our mothershipping service. We are continuing to work with the industry to identify any alternative options for servicing the upcoming prawn season.

“Like most businesses, our costs have also escalated and supply chain delays have added operating constraints.

“Our key priority continues to be servicing our core linehaul customers, particularly communities across the Cape, the Gulf and the Torres Strait.”

Mr Freeman said that he had informed mothershipping customers and staff of the decision, with a reassurance to staff around job security.

“I have assured all of our employees that there will be no forced job losses due to this action,” he said.

Mr Freeman said Sea Swift was proud to continue to keep Northern Australia connected into the future.

“I would like to thank all our hard-working employees, both past and present, as well as our valued mothershipping customers for their ongoing support,” he said.

“We will continue to support Queensland’s export and fishery industries, and remain one of Northern Australia’s most dominant and longest service shipping companies.”