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New Shipping Line Enters China - Australia Loop

Great Southern Shipping to commence China - Australia loop

Great Southern Shipping (GSS) will commence a new service between China and Australia using containers purpose built for the Australian trade, the company said. Five ships with a nominal capacity of 5,000 TEUs will operate on the new loop. The ships will call Shanghai and Rizhao in China; and Brisbane, Sydney, Bell Bay, Melbourne and Fremantle in Australia.

GSS said it will invest in 20,000 “Two Pallet Wide” high cube 20-foot and 40-foot containers, allowing companies to pack two pallets side by side in each container. Stephen Blust, president of the Institute of International Container Lessors, said changing the sidewalls of containers, reducing the size of corrugation, the internal dimension of containers can be increased by 90 millimeters (a bit more than 3.4 inches), from 2.348 meters to 2.438 meters, while keeping the exterior dimensions the same size as standard ISO containers. That is enough to allow “Euro-Pallets” that are 1,200 millimeters by 800 millimeters to be placed two wide in a container. Such containers are widely used in Europe and allow for more pallets to be placed in a container. GSS said it will offer coastal shipping service within Australia in addition to service to and from China and that the wider containers “will enable Australian entities to pack two Australian CHEP or LOSCAM pallets side by side within each container, thereby significantly reducing the supply chain costs to the Australian entity that is traditionally associated with the use of narrower and lessor cubic capacity international (ISO) containers that are today exclusively used in international shipping and East Coast to West Coast Australia coastal shipping.”

The number of ships in the service could eventually be increased to 10, according to the Australian Financial Review. The Australian news outlet also added that GSS is a partnership between Australian and Chinese shipping interests. “Under the rules spearheaded by then transport minister Anthony Albanese in 2011, Great Southern’s container ships must have two Australian crew – typically a master and an engineer – but can use low cost foreign crews for all other roles to save costs,” the Australian Financial Review said. Over the next five years, GSS said its goal will be to progress its expansion strategy by focusing on the key growth regions of Australia, Africa and Asia.