Rio Tinto has secured a new commercial freight shipping service connecting Western Australia’s Pilbara region to the major international shipping hub of Singapore. The service will provide the company with a quicker, cheaper and cleaner alternative to the existing freight delivery route via Perth, helping to drive regional economic development and local job creation. The regular freight service commenced with the arrival of the MCP Graz at the Port of Dampier from Singapore. The vessel delivered essential maintenance supplies for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s operations in the Pilbara, including rail wagon wheels, wagon parts, oil and lubricants. Future shipments are expected to include tyres for heavy earth moving equipment, conveyor belts, rail wagon and locomotive parts and mining consumables.
The service is also open for use by local businesses in the north-west of Australia, providing companies operating in the region with better access to international markets and more efficient movement of freight.
Rio Tinto expects the service to reduce the lead-time for goods in to the Pilbara by six to 10 days compared with freight via Fremantle. Additionally, it’s expected to provide an annual saving of around three million litres of diesel fuel by reducing road train travel from Perth by more than 3.8 million kilometres. Over time, Rio Tinto is hopeful that more than 50% of its freight requirements to the Pilbara will utilise this service, increasing the speed of delivery and lowering costs. The vessel capacity of the freight service will be 350 TEUs with Toll Global Forwarding and other freight forwarders offering a service for smaller volumes on the vessel.
Viva Energy, the supplier of fuels and lubricants and supply partner to Rio Tinto, expects to reduce its road transport travel by 350,000 kilometres a year through use of the new service.