City of Karratha

Direct freight link could halve transport costs for Pilbara businesses

19 Feb 2019

Recent studies by the City of Karratha and Pilbara Development Commission have found the establishment of a direct maritime freight link could halve the cost of transporting goods to Pilbara based businesses.

The City of Karratha and the Pilbara Development Commission worked in collaboration to independently fund two separate but related studies on freight into the Pilbara.

The combined findings of the reports identified that there is sufficient demand through cargo aggregation for new direct maritime freight links to major Asian trans-shipment ports.

If a direct freight service was established it could reduce freight costs by up to 50% and delivery times by up to 70%.

The lower costs would increase annual gross regional product (GRP) of the Pilbara by 1.14%, or $120 million per year.  

Recycling, building products, machinery, industrial supplies and consumables are just some of many Pilbara freight categories that can benefit from direct services.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the City was committed to reducing costs for local businesses.

“The Pilbara is completely reliant on imported goods of every kind to support industry and community life – whether it is a toothbrush or a mining truck.”

“Each year more than 6.5 million tonnes of freight flows in and out of the Pilbara, which is carried over great distances because of our remote location.”

“The establishment of direct freight links would significantly reduce costs for Pilbara based businesses as well as create additional opportunities for new businesses to establish, particularly those with export potential.”

“The development of exports in live seafood, oysters, horticultural products and beef could be facilitated by an air link triangulated over Perth.”

The City of Karratha Council endorsed its freight study at Monday night’s Council meeting and it is being presented to local businesses at the City of Karratha Small Business Breakfast Briefing today.

The next stage is recommended to be independent facilitation work to assist the business development of new direct maritime and air freight services between the Pilbara and Asia.

The City of Karratha Pilbara Freight Study is available here.