Shipping services to Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu is expected to improve after the engagement of 6 shipping companies to service the four countries.
The move was made possible after the Central Pacific Shipping Commission (CPSC) was operationalized at the beginning of this year.
“In 2013, three shipping companies were awarded a license or an Entry Assurance Certificate (EAC) to service the four member countries,” According to a statement from the Ministry of Communications, Transport and Tourism Development (MCTTD).
“The three companies are Neptune Pacific PTE Ltd, The China Navigation PTE Ltd and the Pacific Direct Line International PLtd. The Pacific Direct Line currently services the Line and Phoenix Islands on a three-monthly frequency.” The statement said.
The MCTTD statement added that later, in March of this year, three more shipping companies were awared EACs namely NYK Bulk and Project Carrier Ltd, Kyowa Shipping Co., Ltd and Matson South Pacific Limited.
The six shipping companies above will service Kiribati and other CPSC member countries providing the following benefits to Kiribati:
1. Increased frequency of port calls to Kiribati potentially reducing the experience of cargo shortages.
2. Competitive and thus reduced freight rates leading to cheaper prices of imported goods
3. Shipping service to the Line and Phoenix Group to increase from a three monthly service to a monthly service
The Central Pacific Shipping Commission is an inter-governmental commission for joint cooperation, coordination and monitor of international shipping services in participating Governments.
The rationale of CPSC is to ensure sustained commercial shipping services for the common interest, needs and public welfare of the respective communities through controlled competition.
Additionally, due to the success of the CPSC, the establishment of an Eastern Pacific Shipping Commission (EPSC) is now under consideration and which Kiribati will also be a member country due to the eastern location of the Line and Phoenix islands.