New island link begins – SeaRoad pledges a seamless ship link

KING ISLAND’S new shipping arrangements have begun with transport company SeaRoad starting its new weekly trans-shipping service for Bass Island Line.

The change follows the end of Bass Island Line’s triangular service linking King Island, Bell Bay and Melbourne which has caused much debate and raised many questions over costs and capacity impacts.

SeaRoad won the tender to transport BIL’s King Island freight between Devonport and Melbourne, replacing BIL’s Victorian port call.

SeaRoad Executive Chairman Chas Kelly said the company was successful with its bid because it presented a seamless and efficient Bass Strait transport solution.

“With Bass Island Line sailing to West Devonport, partnering with SeaRoad provides a financially sustainable option for its operator, TasPorts, and meets customer demand for a Devonport call,” Mr Kelly said.
“We look forward to delivering the high standard of service for which SeaRoad is known, and enabling local businesses, such as renowned King Island food brands, to meet their operational demands.”

SeaRoad expects to transport about 20m twenty-foot-equivalent units per week for BIL via its vessels SeaRoad Mersey II and Liekut.

The on-island booking agent for King Island to Melbourne is Jim McKenzie Agencies and Melbourne to King Island is Tas Cargo Services.

McKenzie’s can provide advice and detailed information sheets regarding the King Island to Melbourne and Melbourne to King Island freight processes and charges.

These are available from their office in Currie or can be emailed.

Cars being sent off the island are containerised at Grassy for shipment to Devonport.

And cars exceeding the maximum car dimensions will be deck-stowed on the ship, John Duigan.

Cars are not containerised on the SeaRoad Shipping vessels but are stowed inside the vessel.

The ship departs Grassy for Devonport on Tuesday (weather permitting), and cars and freight will need to be dropped to the Grassy wharf on Tuesday at the latest between 8 am and 9 am or between 8 am and 3.30 pm on the other days of the week when TasPorts is open.

Cars are unloaded in Devonport on Wednesday and transferred to the SeaRoad Shipping terminal.

Cars will arrive in Port Melbourne on Thursday.

Cars are booked for Devonport to Melbourne or Melbourne to Devonport by Tas Cargo Services and this service is included in the rate.

Cars and general cargo can only be dropped off at SeaRoad shipping in Port Melbourne on the day of sailing – Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between 7.30 am and 11 am and will arrive on King Island on Tuesday.

The Bass Island Line Tourist Rate is a free return to King Island of your car from Melbourne.

You must be flying to and from Melbourne around the same time as your car is being shipped.

A copy of your airline ticket must be provided to qualify.

The free return trip must be completed three months from the first trip.

If a different car is returned on the free return leg, a surcharge will apply.

Commercial, Laden Vehicles or business cars do not qualify for the Tourist Rate.

The Federal Government Bass Strait freight equalisation scheme $243 rebate King Island to Melbourne or Melbourne to King Island continues to be available and is subject to criteria.

A second rebate of $243 can be claimed when the car returns and can take up to six weeks for the deposit into your account.

Claim forms are available from Jim McKenzie Agencies.

Rates include Bass Island Line and SeaRoad shipping sea freight costs, Infrastructure Levy and TasPorts wharfage (Grassy $49.83 inclusive and Devonport $49.83 inclusive.) Unladen Vehicles up to 5.5 metres long.

One way vehicle with no rebate – $931.98 One way with rebate (if applicable) deducted – $688.98 Tourist Rate return trip first Rebate deducted – $788.64 After the Tourist Rate return trip another $243 rebate (if applicable) can be claimed making the total cost of return trip $545.64.

Different vehicles returning on a Tourist Rate will incur an additional surcharge – $323.57 Questions remain around the future of the shipping of laden vehicles to King Island from Melbourne.

Historically there have been different rates for different categories of vehicles eg standard medium and large.

King Island sources Trades people and technical specialists from mainland Australia and this includes bringing their tools and equipment to the island in work vehicles.

There are concerns that SeaRoad rules around the shipping of unladen vehicles will impact these services.

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