Global logistics and freight network Toll Group launched Australia’s largest cargo ship on 17 February, the Tasmanian Achiever II in Burnie, Tasmania followed by the Victorian Reliance II on Webb Dock in Port Melbourne.
Now in service, the 210-metre ships are the largest to fly an Australian flag. Its primary mission will carry goods between the Port of Melbourne and the Port of Burnie.
The ships were commissioned by Toll to carry freight between the mainland and Tasmania. This increases cargo capacity by over 40% on each voyage and meet demand for the next 20 years.
This increased capacity will ensure reliable and guaranteed access to markets daily said Steve Borg, Toll’s Executive General Manager, Tasmania and Shipping.
“This is a major milestone for Australian shipping. The two Australian-crewed ships and associated port infrastructure upgrades at Webb Dock and Burnie represent the largest private investment in coastal trading in 25 years.
“The Australian economy will be the real winner with greater certainty around the timely transport of goods between mainland Australia and Tasmania, providing opportunity for producers and manufacturers to increase output and provide more jobs.”
The identical ships are unique as they connect to the local power grids for power, eliminating the need for diesel engines. Also integrated are new wharf management systems and customer booking software to reduce traffic congestion and improve freight tracking and monitoring, especially of refrigerated cargo.
They are built to comply with international standards on sulphur emissions, set to be introduced by the International Marine Organisation (IMO2020). The Victorian Reliance II and Tasmanian Achiever II carry on-board scrubbers designed to filter emissions.
Both ships can make the 396km crossing in 13 hours, an hour faster than other ships. The time savings means additional loading and unloading of cargo.
The Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman and Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison MP attended the Burnie launch; Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Bill Shorten MP and Shadow Minister for Transport & Infrastructure the Hon. Anthony Albanese attended the Port Melbourne launch. Toll Group Chairman John Mullen attended both ceremonies.
“Toll Group is a major employer in Tasmania, and are a vital link in the supply chain, which ensures that not only our world class produce can reach our expanding markets both domestically and internationally but Tasmanian businesses and communities have a reliable link for inward goods,” Premier Hodgman said at the Burnie ceremony.
“Tasmania has what the world wants, and the Tasmanian Government is committed to opening new markets and opportunities for Tasmania’s exporters. Toll’s investment in Tasmania’s export future is a great recognition of the strength of our economy and export sector.”
Both ships replace their previous namesakes.