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Shipping

Fiji has international shipping services and is also the hub of the South Pacific telecommunication network and focal point of regional business activity. Suva is the main port and its wharf facilities are capable of handling large cargo and passenger vessels. Lautoka, Levuka and Savusavu are the other ports of entry.
 
Sea Transport
Fiji's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) contains approximately 330 islands of which about a - third are inhabited. This covers about a 1.3 million sq.km of the South Pacific Ocean. Government through its respective departments and statutory organisations Government Shipping Services (GSS), Fiji Maritime Safety Administration (FIMSA), Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL), Fiji Shipping Corporation Limited (FSCL) and other operators consult regularly to ensure a safe, reliable, efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly maritime transport system is in place to cater for our maritime communities.
 
Fiji being the “hub of the Pacific” is also a strategic transshipment hub for cargoes traded between the Pacific Island States (PIC’s). In international shipping services, a bulk of general cargo imports and exports are carried in containers along the major shipping routes connecting Pacific Island Countries such as Asia and around the world routes; North American routes; European routes and Australia/ New Zealand routes. Since the market is contestable, it is likely that any abuse of monopoly power would be transient. Freight rates are relatively high in comparison to world standards but economies of scale within PIC’s is generally low
 
Fiji in its part as a responsible Pacific Island State has been actively involved in the review of the Pacific Forum Line and its services to the South Pacific region. Fiji is currently involved in preparations for the Rotuma Port of Entry Project to facilitate trade within Tuvalu and later on with Kiribati and other Small Island States in the Central Pacific.
 
In contrast to international shipping services, domestic shipping operations are in a parlous state. Coastal and inter island shipping services are generally operated by Government or by very small, independent shipping companies. The provision for adequate, efficient and reliable domestic shipping services is one of most difficult, perplexing challenges. In many cases, services of the quality expected by residents of remote islands are not commercially viable. Nevertheless, delivery of these services is a political, social and arguably an economic imperative.
 
As a result of continuous consultation within the transport sector and the outcomes of the Government initiated National Transport Consultative Forum, the shipping freight rates and the domestic shipping franchise scheme have been under review lately. This is with the intention to improve shipping services on both economical and uneconomical routes. Government also constructs and maintains new and existing jetties to take heed of the demand from those living in the outer islands.
 
Expansion of international cargo shipping services is largely determined by the export-import market and the current trend will be economically viable once it is reversed.
 
Ports of Entry
 
There are four ports of entry into Fiji, namely: Suva, Lautoka, Levuka, Wairiki and Malau. Other ports and deep-water anchorages that are frequently used are at Savusavu and Vuda Point. All customs, immigration, and quarantine facilities are provided.
 
Suva
The Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) has completed its major development project in 2006 for both Suva and Lautoka which includes the extension and rehabilitation of the current infrastructure to enhance efficiency in terms of operational productivity.
 
The Port is a natural harbor and has improved shore facilities, modern plant and equipment and efficient port services coupled with fast shipping turnaround and cargo flow. Suva port has no length or draft limitation for conventional vessels entering port. The largest vessel regularly entering is 42,000 tones. The new look Suva port provides a wide range of services which include: pilotage, safe anchorage and deep berths, stevedoring and general cargo handling, cargo and container storage including freezer and cooler for both containers and loose cargo warehousing, fumigation and incineration and weighbridge facilities. The Port of Suva has the following berthing facilities for both overseas and local vessels: 
 
Wharf
Length (Meters)
Depth Alongside (Meters)
Overseas
 
 
Kings
492
11.6
Walu Bay
184
9.0
Princess
156
5.0
LOCAL
 
 
Muaiwalu I
30
4.5
Muaiwalu II
120
5.0
           
Lautoka
Lautoka is the second largest port of entry in the country and handles the bulk of Fiji’s sugar and woodchips exports. The majority of the containerized exports originating from Lautoka are the water containers destined for both West Coast North America (WCNA) and East Coast North America (ECNA). The port services the shipping needs of Western Viti Levu and is normally the base for local cruise vessels that ferry passengers to and from the many holiday resorts on offshore islands.
 
In addition to the FPCL owned wharf, other port facilities include a number of privately owned terminals for the handling of petroleum, gas, bulk sugar, molasses, and wood chips. There is also a Fishing Port that services the requirements of local fishermen.
 
Lautoka has berthing facilities as follows:
 
Wharf
Lenth (Metres)
Depth Alongside (Metres)
OVERSEAS      
 
 
Queens Wharf, West Quay
400
11.0
North Quay
78
7.0
Sugar and Woodchips Terminal
176
11.0
LOCAL
 
 
Queens Wharf, South Way
78
3.6
Queens Wharf, South Way
78
3.0
Kings Wharf
93
1.5
 
                       
Administration
 The ports of Fiji are administered by Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL). FPCL assume the role of a port management company thus responsible for all port service’s needs.   Ports Terminal Limited (PTL) which is its subsidiary is responsible for the stevedoring services in both Suva and Lautoka ports.
 
Cargo Handling and Stevedoring Services
The Ports Authority provides handling and stevedoring services at the ports of Suva and Lautoka. Shipping agents are required to submit shipping information i.e. vessels, Expected Time of Arrival (ETA), Draft, Gross Registered Tonnage of a vessel (GRT), cargo for loading or discharge and number of labour gangs required. Other statutory documents needed are the International Maritime Organization (IMO) number as well as the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) certificate. 
 
Containerization
Fiji has kept pace with the development of container traffic. Container ships generally calling into Fiji are self-sustaining types and provide the necessary heavy equipment for discharge of the containers. The upgraded container yard in the Port of Suva has facilitated container storage and greatly improved manpower efficiency.
 
Storage
The storage facilities at Ports of Suva and Lautoka cater for transit, warehouse and cold storage goods as well as general storage. The Port of Suva currently has 6 storage sheds providing 6,100 square metres of storage area, whereas Lautoka Wharf has 2 sheds providing 4,020 square metres of storage area. However provisions are also made for open yard storage depending on the nature of the cargoes.
 
 
There are facilities for transshipment cargo, at Suva and Lautoka, Inland Freight stations are operated to supplement the port storage space and facilitate the removal of un-cleared cargo from the wharves.
 
Equipment
A fleet of cargo handling equipment comprising heavy duty forklift trucks, tractors, mobile cranes, trailers etc, is owned and operated by FPCL for cargo handling in the port.
 
Tonnage Rate
In line with the practice in other progressive ports, special tonnage rates for stevedoring and general cargo handling within the port can be negotiated with the authority.
 
 
In principle, rates can be negotiated for containers, break-bulk cargo, unutilized and palletized cargoes with specific consideration given to vessel types and discharge methods. However this will become void on the introduction of the revised tariff rates scheduled to be in use in the near future.
 
  
Cargo Types
 
All types of cargo can be handled at the port:
          General Cargo - Merchandise, electrical equipment, steel, cement, fertilizers, logs, sawn timber, container, heavy lifts refrigerated goods.
          Dry Bulk Cargo - Rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, coal, gypsum, clinker, fertilizer,
          Liquid bulk - Petroleum products, chemical products, vegetable oils, coconut oils, liquid gas, tallow, bitumen
 
Transshipment
FPCL offers Suva and Lautoka as transshipment ports for cargo for the Pacific Region. The container and shed storage facilities can cater for a much larger volume of transshipment cargo. There is a 3 week free storage concession for transshipment cargo. As a further inducement, there is an offer of a total package rate to cover port and handling cargo.
 
Frequent Passenger Vessels

Name of Vessel
Australia
South Pacific
Pacific Dawn
Australia
America, Pacific
Pacific Sun
America
America, Pacific
Dawn Princess
America
America, Pacific
Sun Princess
America
America, Pacific
Star Princess
America
America, Pacific
Amsterdam
America
America, Pacific
Volendam
America
America, Pacific
Sapphire Princess
America
America, Pacific
Pacific Jewel
Australia
South Pacific

   (Pacific Agencies Fiji Ltd - 3rd March, 2010)