News story

Marine logistics sale triggers ACCC concern

Thursday, 26 February 2015 ( #707 ) - Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed concern over the proposed sale of the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland marine freight business of Toll Marine Logistics to Sea Swift. ACCC chairman Rod Sims says there is concern the proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of marine freight services in the Northern Territory and Queensland, including the Torres Strait Islands. He says the ACCC has received many submissions indicating that the proposed acquisition would result in significantly higher prices and diminished service levels, which may harm standards of living in the remote communities that are dependent upon sea freight. "The ACCC is examining this closely. Most of the businesses and communities affected are heavily reliant on the services that Sea Swift and Toll provide, and for some communities it is the only way that basic supplies such as food and fuel can be transported. "The ACCC is concerned that the proposed acquisition is likely to lead to significant price increases as it will result in a monopoly on many routes." Sea Swift and Toll Marine Logistics are both suppliers of scheduled and chartered marine freight services to the Northern Territory, far north Queensland and coastal communities including the Torres Strait Islands. The ACCC invites further submissions from interested parties in response to its Statement of Issues by Friday, 13 March 2015. The ACCC's final decision will be announced on Thursday, 16 April 2015.