China’s Rizhao Port Group and Australian Great Southern Shipping have joined forces to create a new shipping partnership which will operate a service between the two countries through five Australian-flagged 5,000 TEU ships.
The service will launch from Rizhao, make stops in Brisbane, Sydney, Bell Bay, Melbourne, Fremantle and return to Rizhao.
Additional stops in Ningbo or Shanghai could be added to the new container shipping line’s triangulated weekly route, which is expected to launch within months.
Targeting import, export and traditional coastal routes, the new service is expected to improve container handling to and from China for Western Australia and Tasmania.
The shipping venture will reportedly be the first to run Australian-flagged container ships with foreign crews under the Australian International Shipping Register (AISR).
As the coastal trade develops, the company expects to deploy a fleet of up to 10 containerships, subsequently increasing the offer from a weekly to twice-weekly service.
The new service is expected to contribute to China’s “One Belt or One Road” strategy, connecting Europe, China and Australia.
Consists of a the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and an oceangoing Maritime Silk Road, the strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need to export China’s production capacity in areas of overproduction.
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