Sea Swift has celebrated the 2018 Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures by launching a ground-breaking new support program for northern Australia businesses.
The Sea Swift Market Connect Program will provide logistics advice, logistics management, and discounted freight costs support to new or emerging businesses across northern Australia.
Sea Swift Chief Executive Officer Fred White (pictured at Garma, above) said it was the first time this type of initiative has existed in the region, and will help local businesses get their products where they need to go.
“We know that operating in northern Australia is challenging, but it is a remarkable place filled with wonderful people and cultures, and amazing possibilities and opportunities,” Mr White said.
“At Sea Swift, we work hard to keep the communities of northern Australia connected, so we can all prosper and grow, as shown in our support of festivals like Garma.
“We’ve now established this exciting new program to help local businesses get off the ground and be successful in what they want to do.”
Mr White said the Market Connect Program provides smaller businesses with support to assist them in reaching markets outside of their immediate area, and to help underpin the sustainability of their business.
“Sea Swift will also assist successful applicants in getting their products to their market of choice via network introductions,” he said.
“We’re passionate about growing northern Australia and improving the standard of living in the region.
“We connect remote communities and foster economic development by providing a safe, reliable service, with pride.
“We live and work in a unique part of the world, and our aim is to promote this and make living in northern Australia easier by connecting our diverse cultures.”
During its 30-year history, Sea Swift has continually helped local communities to grow their economies. Current examples include:
- Manapan Furniture: Sea Swift provides highly-subsidised backload rates from Milingimbi to Darwin for all completed furniture pieces and assists with the on-forwarding to southern markets, as well as purchasing furniture.
- Gumatj Corporation: Sea Swift has assisted the Gumatj Corporation by providing freight assistance and subsidised rates for rough sawn timber, roof trusses, and concrete blocks from their micro-enterprises at Gove (Nhulunbuy) in order to provide housing construction at a more affordable price to neighbouring communities.
- Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC): Sea Swift has assisted the ALC by offering an umbrella freight agreement across all related entities enabling a group discount. Additionally, Sea Swift is assisting the ALC with the design of marine facilities associated with Bartalumba Bay and Winchelsea Island. All of these initiatives will support the ALC’s desire for self-determination and independence post-GEMCO mining.
- Northern Land Council: Sea Swift has signed barge access agreements with most of the NLC communities and as part of these agreements, Sea Swift pays a royalty to traditional owners. Further to this, Sea Swift is in the process of establishing remote facilities to streamline services and increase local employment.
- Torres Strait Island Seafood Export Service: Sea Swift has implemented a service to assist local fishermen to freight their product to Cairns from their home in the Outer Torres Strait Islands (OTSI), providing a similar service to ‘mothershipping’ via our linehaul service.
- Knowledge Water – Mandjawuy: Sea Swift is currently assisting this microenterprise with logistics advice on how best to export bottled water from this remote community south-east of Gapuwiyak (Lake Evella). Sea Swift will also provide construction logistics support and once production commences, will assist with subsidised backload rates throughout Sea Swift’s existing supply chain network.
All Market Connect Program applications will be assessed on set criteria, including how the business case, activity, or project will assist northern Australia to prosper and grow.
Sea Swift is also looking for partners to deliver the Market Connect Program on a national and global scale, so it can provide end-to-end logistic assistance.
Sea Swift is a proud sponsor of the popular Garma festival, an annual Indigenous celebration which started last Friday in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
About Sea Swift
Marine transport provider Sea Swift is one of the largest employers in northern Australia with more than 430 staff and 30 vessels, and makes a significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the region.
Sea Swift is a highly-professional and commercially-astute provider of full service logistics solutions for anyone that operates and lives in the coastal and island communities of northern Australia.
Sea Swift delivers essential everyday items for individual customers through to large-scale projects with multi-national corporations.
For more information on Sea Swift, visit www.seaswift.com.au