Toll Group announced it is investing $170 million to build two new ships to support trade between Victoria and Tasmania and to meet the demands of continued growth.
The new, purpose-built ships, operating between Burnie, Tasmania and Melbourne, Victoria, will provide 40 per cent more freight capacity, more opportunities to transport refrigerated freight for Tasmania’s growing chilled export market and more flexibility for customer deliveries.
The new vessels will be available in late 2018 and will replace Toll’s existing ships, continuing to operate overnight services, six days per week.
“This significant investment underscores Toll’s commitment to the Australian market
and the integral role that we play in connecting Tasmania to our vast global network,” said Brian Kruger, Managing Director Toll Group.
“This long-term commitment by Toll is another example of why Victoria and the Port of Melbourne are considered so highly around the globe and why Melbourne is the freight and logistics capital of Australia,” said Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas.
"The Hodgman Government welcomes the announcement by Toll, which will provide more capacity for exporters and support jobs and economic growth,” said Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding.
“The Hodgman Government's historic Tasmanian Integrated Freight Strategy set the investment climate and Toll's new ships are a vote of confidence in the future growth of the Bass Strait freight
market and the state’s economy,'' Mr Hidding said.
The construction contract for the new ships was awarded following a global competitive tender process, with the contract awarded to Jinling Shipyard in China.
Toll has worked closely with the Port of Melbourne to secure an additional seven hectares of land in order to provide the land side infrastructure to support the increased freight capacity of the new ships.
Toll Group has invested significantly in its global logistics network in recent years in order to reinforce its position as the Asia Pacific region
’s leading provider of logistics services.
In the last 18 months, the company has announced major investments, including a S$228 million high tech logistics hub in Singapore, $40 million in new facilities in Western Australia, a $150 million freight sorting facility next to Melbourne Airport and a 32,000 square metre retail distribution centre at Prestons in Sydney.