SEA Swift’s much-anticipated new cargo vessel should be in service by the wet season, the company says.
The Newcastle Bay II, which was supposed to be delivered two years ago, will arrive in Cairns in October and should relieve the pressure on the shipping company.
Sea Swift has been under the pump without the purpose-built vessel, with the Trinity Bay also currently out of action as it awaits its five-yearly inspection.
CEO Dwayne Freeman expressed his excitement at welcoming the Newcastle Bay II to the company’s fleet.
“The arrival of the Newcastle Bay II is a momentous occasion for Sea Swift and the entire northern Australia community,” he said.
“This vessel represents our commitment to improving cargo capacity and connectivity across the region.”
Measuring just shy of 100 metres in length and capable of reaching a maximum speed of 16 knots, the Newcastle Bay II should dramatically increase Sea Swift’s capabilities.
“This vessel is a game-changer for our communities,” Mr Freeman said.
“It will significantly increase our cargo capacity, especially during northern Queensland’s wet season, and also offer passenger accommodation, further enhancing our services.”
Mr Freeman admitted the process to acquire the new vessel had not been without its challenges.
“We’ve encountered hurdles, including the impact of COVID-19, labour and skills shortages, and adverse weather conditions,” he said.
“However, these challenges have only fuelled our determination to see this project through.
“The Newcastle Bay II‘s impending arrival is a testament to Sea Swift’s resilience and unwavering commitment to serving the needs of northern Australia.
“In fact, it’s more than just a vessel – it represents Sea Swift’s identity and is a critical addition to our business.”
Sea Swift said it would host a grand launch event to celebrate the vessel’s arrival.
Meanwhile, Weipa shoppers were left without milk and fresh produce on Monday after Sea Swift failed to refrigerate a load bound for Woolworths.
“Some of the stock that arrived at our Weipa store was damaged in transit. Unfortunately, this stock did not meet food safety standards and could no longer be sold in store,” a spokesperson for Woolworths said.
“This delivery included a number of fruit and veg items as well as dairy, milk and egg products. Local customers may notice reduced stock in store over the next couple of days.
“Our teams have placed orders to replenish this stock as soon as possible, with the next delivery expected on Wednesday, and we thank customers for their understanding.”