Container liner to start regular service at Gladstone Port
A NEW service will help Gladstone Ports Corporation further diversify its services and increase its exports of containers.
Pacific Asia Express will start a fortnightly service next month calling into the Port of Gladstone, en route to Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Qingdao in China and other parts of the world.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive Peter O'Sullivan said they had investigated options to further develop and diversify trade across its Gladstone, Bundaberg and Rockhampton ports.
He said a regular container liner to service the Port of Gladstone was a key focus.
Initially the containers will be filled with agricultural products, minerals and general cargo but Mr O'Sullivan said it was envisaged this would expand in the future.
"The regular container liner service has received a lot of positive interest, particularly within the Central Queensland region," he said.
"While GPC handles containers currently through Swires Shipping, this will be an additional liner service to the port."
During the 2016-17 financial year, 6289 containers were handled at Gladstone and Rockhampton, a 33 per cent decrease from 9343 in 2015-16. In its annual report last year, GPC said it would continue to work with shipping lines and customers to secure a regular weekly or fortnightly liner service to Gladstone.
Mr O'Sullivan previously told The Observer increasing container trade would be key to achieving its goal of 300,000 million tonnes of exports.
In the financial year to May 23,287 tonnes of goods were exported in containers out of Gladstone. The majority - 11,468 - was shipped to India.
Four of the eight ports Pacific Asia Express's new route stops at are in Australia, including Darwin, Port Moresby, Townsville and Gladstone.
Pacific Asia Express is a shipping agent of Mariana Express Lines Pty Ltd, an international shipping line with a focus on niche trades in the Asia-Pacific and connecting with global supply chains.