By Brett Charlton, Agility Logistics
Sorry to be the bearer of some bad news before Christmas but I am afraid we have some challenges coming up and those reading this article need to be on top of their logistics game for the next three to four months.
As most would already know, the tonnage over Bass Strait is getting an injection of confidence from Toll with two new vessels being deployed to the trade and increasing the capacity of Bass Strait considerably.
When these vessels arrive and begin their operations, Tasmania will be sitting in a very enviable position of having ample capacity for the next ten years at least (especially post the Searoad investment of one vessel and the advice of a second vessel pending coupled with the announcement of two new TT Line vessels).
That said however, works at Webb Dock and Burnie wharf are being undertaken to accommodate the increased size of the vessels and presently traders are experiencing capacity issues due to the ability to carry current volumes through the reduced wharf operational footprint (some say the capacity is down approximately 25% presently).
This is suggested to ease a little as we get closer to that mythical time of year where everything becomes urgent, but in January there will be a need to move operations from the current location in Burnie (for Toll) for a period of three weeks (suggested). At the time of writing, there is no firm advice as to the contingency plan, but whatever it is will be disruptive despite careful and professional planning.
January will be a tough gig for traders and logistics operators alike in Tasmania and with a booming tourism and agricultural world, this peak season challenge should be on the minds of most (of course, I am very happy to be wrong – but suggest to plan for the worse at this stage).
Despite all of this, I sincerely wish all a happy and safe Christmas with family and friends and a successful 2019 ahead. Cheers.