In February 2013, Bell Bay Aluminium announced an agreement with Swire Shipping, a division of the China Navigation Company – more familiarly “CNCo”, for the provision of a direct international ocean freight service between Asian ports and the port of Bell Bay.

The announcement came at a time when additional freight costs were impacting Bell Bay Aluminium’s viability as a result of the loss of the international container service from Bell Bay in May 2011.

Since April 2013 Swire Shipping has provided Bell Bay Aluminium with a multi-purpose vessel capable of both a break bulk and containerised ocean freight shipping service on a monthly basis from Bell Bay Port to various locations in Asia including Singapore.

Over 80% of the metal produced at Bell Bay Aluminium is exported to Asia.

The service accounts for almost half of Bell Bay Aluminium’s containers with the smelter’s remaining containers shipped via Melbourne.

At the time of the announcement the port of Bell Bay was included as an additional port on Swire Shipping’s existing Asia Pacific Australasia service.

In early 2014, the service was retonnaged with brand new state of the art S Class vessels.

On Wednesday 16 July, Shuntien, a new S-Class vessel introduced to the Bell Bay service was welcomed into port by Swire Shipping and Bell Bay Aluminium who hosted a lunchtime function for a small group of guests including employees, key suppliers and local community stakeholders.


The Shuntien loading. Image by Rob Burnett

The Shuntien loading. Image by Rob Burnett

Shuntien Facts:

*        31,000MT MPP Vessel

*        2114 teu container capacity couple with a 700 teu on deck capacity

*        Flexible towage, accepting cargo up to 32 meters length underdeck

*       120M lifting capacity & Reefer plugs to accommodate 147 teus

*        Increased speed capabilities and fuel efficiencies

*        Key cargo types-Project Cargo, General Break-bulk and Containers

*       Ventilation in all holds with 6 air exchanges per hour