DP World Australia is offering additional capacity to shipping lines to deliver containerised freight to Western Australia.

By supporting coastal shipments, DP World intends to help alleviate supply issues caused by extreme flooding in South Australia.

The extreme weather event disrupted national freight networks more than two weeks ago, but the impacts are still being felt in Western Australia, which has had difficulty receiving food supplies.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation network had initially been damaged in 18 locations, and flooding had cut major highways.

To overcome freight challenges, the federal government signed an exemption to the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 to temporarily permit coastal shipping to Western Australian ports.

To keep supplies moving, DP World said it is facilitating an additional 800 units through its terminals to support customers ANL, Maersk and MSC, which service the east and west coasts.

DP World said it is working with local transport services in Western Australia to move an anticipated uplift of 20% in volume via coastal movements at its Fremantle terminal.

“By continuing to provide service reliability at our terminals, we are able to keep trade flowing, despite severed critical freight links in and out of Western Australia,” DP World Australia CEO Andrew Adam said.

“Over the last two years, the pandemic has demonstrated our resilience and ability to provide consistent operational performance and we are proud to continue to support our customers and the Australian supply chain through additional capacity and reliable shipping methods.”

As flood waters recede, the ARTC has announced a revised rail network opening forecast based on the observed progress of restoration works.

On 8 February, an ARTC spokesperson said operations are expected to recommence on the Trans-Australian railway between Adelaide and Tarcoola from 15 February.

“ARTC will now work with our customers to ensure operations can commence safely and that freight can get moving on this vital rail link connecting Western Australia and the Northern Territory,” the spokesperson said.

“Since the flooding occurred on the weekend of the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of January, our crews have worked around the clock to fix damaged locations along a 300-kilometre stretch of track.

“ARTC thanks our crews, contractors, local mines in the region and suppliers whom have all worked together to repair the damage.”