Update 54

BIL community event

Bass Island Line (BIL) is very pleased to announce a community event on King Island to mark the coming into service of the new vessel, John Duigan.

The event, which is open to everyone who would like to come along, will take place at Grassy Port between 1pm and 3pm on Friday 18 May 2018.

“This is a great opportunity for the King Island community to see the new vessel up close for themselves,” said TasPorts Executive General Manager Customer and Commercial, Steve Clark.

“I am confident that the people of King Island will be very impressed when they see John Duigan in the port of Grassy.”

Image: John Duigan berthed at Bell Bay earlier this year.

Mr Clark said the new vessel would be in service before the community event takes place. The exact start date for the new service is being finalised and will be announced soon.

Activities at the community event will include an official naming ceremony and tours of the new vessel.

Prior to the community event BIL will also hold a short Business Function at the port for key customers and stakeholders.

The Port of Grassy will be closed on 18 May between the 7am and 6pm for the event. BIL apologise to its customers and port users for any inconvenience.

Anyone with questions about the closure at the port can contact TasPorts Manager North Mark Cooper on Mark.Cooper@tasports.com.au.

Freight costs

BIL is concerned by claims from anonymous ‘industry sources’ in this week’s King Island Courier about purported increases in freight fertiliser charges.

BIL’s position is clear – it has not increased port to port shipping prices.

BIL does not offer a total freight solution and does not control all the costs in the supply chain.

The freight rate costs that BIL does control have been kept at the same levels as last season and by the previous provider.

BIL has held down prices despite the additional costs it faces as a transhipment operator.

Our freight pricing comparison analysis for the actual movement of a full twenty foot container of fertiliser, for example, from Victoria to King Island and the return of the empty back to the mainland (i.e. complete round trip) shows that BIL is in fact overall cheaper at $75 less than the rate charged by the previous service provider.

Shippers on BIL do need to source their own container which is different to the previous provider. BIL recognised this by offsetting rates for all shipper owned containers with a $100 per TEU discount.

However, as fertiliser shippers use third party agents or forwarders to make their fertiliser bookings, we cannot control whether this discount is being passed on or not.

Our record speaks for itself.

Our commitment to delivering this service for the people of King Island remains strong despite the fact that we continue to operate at a loss due to the challenges of the route, including small volumes of freight and the diverse and seasonal nature of the freight.

We are committed to open and respectful communication with our customers and stakeholders.

In that spirit we invite the anonymous industry sources to come forward so we can speak about their concerns face to face. Our door is always open.

Coming into service

Plans for the coming into service of John Duigan and the redelivery of the Investigator II to its owners are being completed.

Our focus at BIL is ensuring service continuity for our customers as the Investigator II’s service comes to an end and John Duigan starts to operate as the new vessel.

Image: Where John Duigan will sail.

We expect to provide further information to our customers and stakeholders soon.

BIL would like to thank its customers and stakeholders for their patience as we complete all the necessary steps needed to bring John Duigan into service.

We are also finalising the schedule. This is dependent on the successful completion of the final modifications to the new vessel at the Southern Marine Ship Lift yard at Invermay (they are progressing very well) and the completion of all safety and compliance requirements (which are all on track).

Current schedule

 The next three sailings are as follows:

  • Friday 20 April: General sailing – Depart Devonport 1:30pm
  • Saturday 21 April: General sailing- Depart Grassy 1:30pm
  • Sunday 22 April: General sailing – Depart Devonport 1:30pm

Update 54 full PDF available here.