Consort Express Lines (Consort), a Papua New Guinean-based coastal and project charter shipping company, has announced that the latest addition to its fleet “Papuan Coast” (formerly known as MV Dili Chief), has now been seamlessly integrated into Consort’s liner operations.

The “Papuan Coast” is a 2007 built 8000 dwt multi-purpose vessel able to carry 318-teu and can handle all types of containerized cargo, break bulk shipments, and project cargo.

The purchase was completed on February 3, 2024 at a total cost of PGK25 million (about USD 6.6 million) and she is – together with three other similar size vessels “Bougainville Coast”, “Gazelle Coast” and “Niugini Coast” – the largest vessels in the Consort fleet which now numbers 20 vessels trading coastally in Papua New Guinea.

Consort is part of the Steamships Logistics Division, an intermodal logistics entity solely owned by Steamships Limited.

Antony Riley, general manager at Consort, said: “Our customers have spoken clearly. They want more choice of sailings between Lae and Port Moresby. The Papuan Coast will help deliver increased frequency and flexibility to make sure goods arrive on the shelves when needed,” and he added that “the Papuan Coast will play a pivotal role in meeting the growing demands of customers and further strengthening Consort’s position as a leader in coastal shipping.”

In order to achieve this, as Consort informs, it has undertaken a PKG130m (about USD 34.1m) investment program to renew its fleet, and this includes the PGK25m (about USD 6.6m) purchase of the ship “Papuan Coast” plus a PGK87m (about USD 22.8m) investment in additional tugs and barges, that are now all operating in Consort’s liner network, and finally a PGK18m (about USD 4.7m) capital expenditure on dry-docking and maintaining its core liner fleet.

Vele Rupa, general manager corporate affairs, Steamships Limited, noted that “This is a significant investment in Consort’s network and underscores our commitment to providing safer and more reliable services and improving our service proposition to our customers. These recent acquisitions position Consort with a high quality and versatile fleet that offers a comprehensive and integrated network of services reaching all PNG ports.”