One of the world’s largest container shipping companies - the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) - is to establish its Australasian regional shipping office in Fremantle.
Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said the decision would create about 60 permanent jobs in the port city and inject millions of dollars into the Western Australian economy.
Mr Cowan said MSC was one of the fastest-growing shipping companies in the world, having grown from just two ships in the early 1970s to its current fleet of 137 vessels.
It had been Fremantle Port’s number one client for a number of years.
The company employed 23 staff at its WA branch office at Fremantle but has now increased this to 83 to support its new regional shipping office and logistics support centre for Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Cowan said other direct benefits would include an estimated expenditure locally by MSC of almost $23 million over the first five years of operation, including more than $15 million in salaries.
“The State Government will contribute $950,000 over two years, by way of an interest-free loan to MSC (Australia) under the Industry Incentive Scheme,” he said.
“This will help to offset some of the establishment costs associated with the venture, such as training and relocation of key staff from the company’s Melbourne office.
“There is provision for the loan to convert to a grant, subject to performance criteria being met.
“While this is a large commitment by Government, it is also an investment which will reap significant rewards for Fremantle and for the State generally.
“It is essential for Western Australia to maintain significant infrastructure for our shipping and freight industry.”
The aim of the Industry Incentive Scheme is to foster economic development in WA by facilitating major capital investment in new products or services of strategic importance to the State.
Media contact: Mike Groves 9222-9595