NAUTICAL Shipping, an agency subsidiary of the Gold Coast-based Leeward Group, has been appointed to provide exclusive Australian representation for Italy’s Grimaldi Group.

Leeward Group chairman Darren Dumbleton said the company had been in discussions with the Grimaldi Group for several months and were privileged to meet with them on two occasions to discuss opportunity for growth in the Australian market.

“The Grimaldi family story of building a successful global company is deeply impressive, with three generations working within the business since its creation,” Mr Dumbleton said. “We feel a great synergy with Grimaldi and are honoured to be appointed as exclusive Australian agents. We look forward to working with Grimaldi to continue their success story and grow the Australian business with a focus on service excellence and meeting our customer requirements.”

Founded in 1947, the Grimaldi Group is a multinational logistics business owned in its entirety by the Grimaldi family. It specialises in the operation of roll-on/roll-off vessels, PCTCs and ferries and has an owned fleet of over 130 ships with an average age significantly below the industry average. The vessels are deployed on regular services across a network spanning five continents, connecting over 150 ports in 50 countries.

Entering the Australian trade in late 2022, Grimaldi initially utilised non-commercial port agents to manage their requirements as they explored opportunities for network development, Mr Dumbleton said. Seeing the potential for growth within the Australian market, the Neapolitan group began seeking a full-service Australian commercial partner, resulting in Nautical Shipping’s appointment.

Currently Grimaldi ro-ros and PCTCs make monthly Melbourne calls and Port Kembla, Fremantle and Brisbane on a spot basis. They also call at Auckland, where they are represented by Oceanbridge Shipping.

Luigi Pacella Grimaldi, EuroMed & Far East/Europe Line Manager of the Grimaldi Group, noted that the service links Oceania (Australia and NZ) with Europe and the Middle East.

“Prospects for further development of our activities in Australia are very promising and this will soon lead us to strengthen our presence in this country. We look forward to a fruitful cooperation with Nautical Shipping, a very experienced agency in Australia; with their support, we intend to further boost our services both for the import and the export of rolling units (cars, vans, trucks, etc.) and project cargo”.

Most recently Grimaldi ships have been handled in Australia by Inchcape Shipping Services.