‘PNG Shipping Co Invests:  New Vessel, New Barge, New Containers’

Consort’s newest addition to its fleet, general cargo vessel ‘Kimbe Chief’, is dedicated to providing a reliable, efficient, and safe service between PNG’s busiest port of Lae and West New Britain’s capital, Kimbe.

Papua New Guinea’s leading coastal shipping provider, Consort Express Lines (‘Consort’), recently welcomed the arrival of its latest cargo vessel ‘Kimbe Chief’.  Consort’s purchase of the nearly 90-metre-long vessel, together with another barge, as well as 1,000 new shipping containers, represents a considerable investment and an ongoing commitment to provide Papua New Guinea with the best possible shipping service.

Kimbe Chief is the newest of 12 vessels in Consort’s fleet.  Importantly, she has her own crane, enabling efficient and cost-effective cargo loading and unloading, and generous capacity.  As her name suggests, she will be dedicated to servicing the weekly Lae-Kimbe-Lae Niugini Islands route.

Thomas Bellamy, Chief Operating Officer of the logistics division of Steamships Limited, to which Consort belongs, reports that “wanting to better service our import and export customers and communities who rely on the Lae-Kimbe-Lae route was the primary reason for Kimbe Chief’s purchase.  In short, having one of our vessels solely dedicated to the route enables Consort to provide a more reliable and efficient service.”

Bellamy acknowledges that the Kimbe Chief ‘s purchase has the added benefit of freeing up other vessels that previously serviced the route, as well as minimising the impact of any unanticipated maintenance issues within Consort’s broader fleet.  “We’re now more favourably positioned to not only provide an enhanced service between Lae and Kimbe, but better services across all routes.  Furthermore, the expanded fleet has increased our charter project capabilities, which is particularly important for some of our biggest customers, including those in mining, as well as oil and gas.”

The company’s additional investment in another barge and 1,000 new containers, including high-cube reefers and 20FT and 40FT dry containers, is also significant in terms of increased service capacity and reliability.  According to Bellamy, so too is it important in terms of safety.  “Aging logistics infrastructure and equipment poses all sorts of potential risks when it comes to workplace safety, as well as environmental safety.  At Consort our primary goal is to provide a 100 percent safe service which includes proactively replacing assets prior to them having any capacity to compromise safety.”

Consort transports cargo in a liner and project charter capacity for a diverse range of businesses, from domestic manufacturers and wholesalers to local farming, transport, and construction companies, as well as international energy and mining operators.  Not only are Consort’s services vital to these organisations’ business operations but they are also critical to the health and development of communities all over Papua New Guinea.   Consort has been transporting essential goods – including food, medicine, building materials and agricultural supplies – to communities for more than 40 years.

Consort extensively invests in its fleet and infrastructure to better service its customers with a complete and reliable shipping service.  As the largest coastal shipping company in Papua New Guinea, Consort provides greater capacity and more frequent services than any other coastal operator.  Consort is a division of a larger, intermodal logistics group solely owned by Steamships Limited.  To learn more about Consort:  www.consort.com.pg

Like all Consort vessels, ‘Kimbe Chief’ is crewed by a Papua New Guinean workforce. Captain Ila Ila, who holds a Master Class 1 (Unlimited) License has been employed by Consort for 15 years and is the new vessel’s first Captain.

For additional information please contact:  Leilani Winchcombe (+675) 7929 6461 / Linda Van Leeuwen: (+61) 407994890

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