A long-held economic aspiration in the Pilbara has been achieved, with the McGowan Government securing the first ever direct maritime freight service into the region.
Global container company ANL will begin a new sea freight service into Port Hedland from next month, which will see freight imported directly into the Pilbara for the first time.
Government-supported studies found that Pilbara revenues would increase by 1.14 per cent, or $120 million per year, if a direct maritime freight service was established.
This service would also replace 20 per cent of the current overland freight task and create local jobs.
Direct freight shipments into Port Hedland became possible following investment in Port Hedland’s cargo inspection and treatment processes to meet requirements under Federal biosecurity legislation, with Hedland and Dampier granted first point of entry status in November 2019.
The new freight service coincides with Commonwealth approval for a permanent wash bay at the Port of Port Hedland which will allow for full fumigation and biosecurity cleaning of all product and equipment exiting the port.
This certification gives importers more certainty that a wider range of products can now enter Australia through the Port of Port Hedland.
Similar biosecurity upgrades will also take place at the Port of Dampier.
The ANL ship, ‘Darwin Trader’, is confirmed to berth at Port Hedland on November 8, 2020 from Singapore.
As stated by Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The McGowan Government is delighted to welcome ANL as the first international shipping company to provide a direct maritime service into the Pilbara.
“We have been pushing this initiative since coming to Government as a significant step in removing restraints on doing business in the Pilbara at the same time as delivering essential biosecurity improvements.
“This signals the beginning of a new wave of economic activity for the people of Port Hedland and the wider Pilbara region.
“Direct shipping into the Pilbara avoids the need to truck containerised cargo up from Perth, reducing logistical costs and limitations to business opportunities while creating new local job opportunities in the region.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“The McGowan Government is delivering for the Pilbara and driving economic opportunities and local jobs in our communities.
“This is a historic initiative that will cut the cost of doing business in the Pilbara, and open up new business opportunities across the region.”