PORT MELBOURNE, Australia: February 2019. Toll Group has christened its second RoRo multipurpose vessel in a week as part of an A$311 million investment to upgrade services between the Port of Melbourne and the Tasmanian Port of Burnie.
The ceremony marked the latest stage in the company’s investment in the Bass Strait trade, which includes the two 12,000 dwt A$86 million ships and major dock upgrades at both ports.
The two 210-metre vessels are the largest general cargo ships under the Australian flag and are set to enter service on March 01 – reducing the Bass Strait crossing to 13 hours and carrying 40 percent more truck and TEU volume.
“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,” declared Steve Borg, Toll’s executive general manager, Tasmania and Shipping.
In port, the new ships will connect to the local power grid, eliminating the need to generate power from their diesel engines. A new wharf management system and customer booking software will improve terminal operational procedures to minimise traffic congestion and enable better freight tracking and monitoring of refrigerated cargo said the company.
Built to comply with strict standards on sulphur emissions, due to be introduced next year by the International Marine Organisation (IMO2020), both vessels have sophisticated on-board scrubbers to filter emissions.
In 2015 Japan Post acquired the Toll Group for US$5.2 billion.
The new ship, Victorian Reliance II, is identical to the Tasmanian Achiever II, which had a naming ceremony in Burnie a week earlier attended by (left to right): The Hon. Will Hodgman, Premier of Tasmania; John Mullen, Toll Group Chairman; Hayley Burr, Tasmania Achiever II Junior Sponsor; Australia Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP and Taneki Ono, Japan Post First Executive Officer.