Toll is to spend $311 million to boost Bass Strait trade, in a project that the company says will see shipping capacity increase between mainland Australia and Tasmania, supporting economic growth and rising demand for local produce.
Toll Group managing director Michael Byrne said the investment includes $170 million to build two new ships and $141 million to upgrade terminals, wharves and berthing facilities in Melbourne and Burnie.
“This is the largest-ever investment by a logistics business in the Bass Strait, and underpins Toll’s commitment to the Australian domestic market and the Bass Strait trade,” said Mr Byrne.
“Toll is the gateway between Tasmania and mainland Australia. We are proud to support the state’s local economy by helping businesses reach interstate and international markets. Equally important, Tasmanian consumers depend upon Toll to import products, particularly retail goods, and we are proud to support this exchange.
“Bolstering our carrying capacity means we can support the Tasmanian exports boom driven by demand from Australian and Asian markets,” he added.
Toll’s new ships and facility upgrades will provide more capacity to transport goods, including:
- 40 per cent more capacity for containers and trailers, with later cut-off times and earlier receivals.
- Increased capability and capacity to handle refrigerated freight.
- Faster turnaround times for customers due to terminal upgrades at McGaw Wharf and Webb Dock, providing more efficient loading and discharge of the ships.
The new, 700 TEU purpose-built ships will commence operations on 1 March 2019. They will replace Toll’s existing ships, and continue to operate overnight services on a six-day per week schedule.
Works to update the wharves have commenced at Webb Dock in Melbourne. They are scheduled to begin in Burnie later this month.