New small load sea freight option launched for WA 

 A new sea freight program has been launched to help smaller Western Australia’s primary industries businesses get their products into the lucrative international markets.

Known as ‘Less than a Container Load’, or LCL, the new freight option provides a platform for smaller producers to bundle their products together in order to fill containers, which allows them to benefit from lower costs.

WA Fishing Industry Council chief executive, Darryl Hockey, said that the program is built on simplicity and the need to diversify and explore new markets for WA produce.

“COVID has highlighted WA’s dependence on reliable and targeted freight services that can meet the needs of larger export volumes, as well as those seafood products that are transported in smaller bundles. The LCL model provides a potential solution for our exporters of high yield chilled or frozen products that are sold in smaller volumes, such as scallop, abalone, crab and value-added octopus,” Darryl said.

Jason Radford, general manager of Perth-based Freight Forwarding company, Tigers International Solutions said the disruption of international flights and the fluctuating cost of airfreight is encouraging exporters to re-assess sea freight.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perth has seen a drop of approximately 216 international flights each week. We are now seeing around 10-15 percent of that traffic now flying, which equates to around 25-30 flights per week.

“Accordingly, freight rates have soared to around four to six times the pre-COVID rates and there is no indication this will change in the near future. And most are not forecasting rates to return to pre-COVID levels.

“The short to medium term forecasts are not encouraging for traditional air freight, so Tigers has established a new solution to address current and future international freight issues faced by WA exporters,” Jason said.

The new LCL model will be trialled for six weeks from 9 April 2021, with sea freight from Fremantle to Singapore.

The service is being positioned to be attractive to larger exporters, as well as smaller or emerging export products wishing to access the Singapore market, and nominated ports beyond. Pending viability, the program can be expanded to include other markets such as Hong Kong, Japan, Bangkok, Europe, the US and other Asian ports.

The refrigerated container transit is based on ONE Line freight departures from Fremantle every Friday, arriving into Singapore the following Thursday.

If you have enquiries or are seeking further information contact [email protected]

Pictured (LtoR) at the launch event are: Liam O’Connell, DPIRD; Jason Radford, Tigers; Jane Caforio, Austrade; Jim Trandos, Trandos Farms; David Wilkins, Tigers; Mannie Shea, WAFIC; Sean Mulhall, Fremantle Ports and Terry Burnage, DPIRD.