Spirits record freight haul in COVID pivot

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

COVID-19 presented significant challenges for TT-Line, as a passenger service.

With border restrictions implemented at various times between Victoria and other mainland states, TT-Line saw a decrease in passenger numbers.

This has disrupted domestic travel and resulted in a significant decline in revenue from the provision of passenger services and as passenger demand dropped off, further capacity was made available for freight.

The Spirits offer a premium “last to leave, first to arrive” freight service, which was further expanded when passenger demand dropped.

The freight volumes carried on the Spirits for the year were the highest on record, with 122,131 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of freight carried in 2020-21. This is well up on the 110,561 TEUs carried in 2019-20, the last full year of unconstrained passenger demand.

Passenger numbers for 2020-21 were only 232,849, well down on the 451,932 passengers carried in 2018-19, the previous fully unconstrained year, bearing in mind that 2019-20 was constrained for much of the time.

For long periods of time over the past two years the Spirits have carried only returning Tasmanians and essential workers, including freight drivers.

Through this time the Spirits continued to sail and maintained an essential transport link with mainland Australia.

These results highlight the crucial role the Spirits of Tasmania play as an essential service and connection to mainland Australia for passenger travel and time sensitive freight in and out of Tasmania.

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