Local economy loses out as ships bypass Fremantle
Three roll-on roll-off (RORO) ships carrying essential mining equipment, farming machinery and other materials bypassed Fremantle in recent days because of industrial action.
On Friday, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship Morning Prosperity sailed from Victoria Quay, after spending one day in the Inner Harbour and being unable to unload due to a refusal by stevedores to work the vessel.
Two other Wallenius Wilhelmsen RORO ships, Tamesis and Tamerlane, which had been waiting in Gage Roads to enter port, also departed over the weekend without unloading their cargo. All vessels are now bound for either Melbourne or Adelaide.
Fremantle Ports CEO Michael Parker said today the new development of ships bypassing Fremantle was concerning for local trade and risked reduced confidence among shipping lines in the port.
'We’re extremely disappointed that a major customer of ours and numerous importers and exporters have been caught up in the latest round of industrial action to hit out wharves, particularly given existing global supply chain congestion,' Mr Parker said.
The Port of Fremantle is Western Australia’s main gateway for motor vehicles and large break-bulk cargo which does not fit in containers, such as large machinery and equipment bound for construction, mining and farming users.
Mr Parker said while industrial action at ports was occurring across Australia, the situation in Fremantle was of concern. Aside from breakbulk cargo, the handling of essential bulk products and the scheduling of container shipping was also being impacted, he said.
- The Port of Fremantle is Western Australia’s major general port, handling 30.4 million tonnes of trade worth $31.34 billion.
- Fremantle is already one of the most efficient container ports in Australia, leading the nation for ship rate, crane rate and containers on rail according to Federal Government research.
- Last financial year, the port handled 1523 ships through the Inner and Outer Harbours.
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