SeaRoad’s has had a long and successful history in servicing Bass Strait held by both current and previous ownership.
SeaRoad’s origins stem from a family owned and run Bass Strait shipping service established in the 1890’s under the name William Holyman and Sons. After various changes in ownership, Patrick Corporation Ltd acquired the business in 1999. Following a takeover of Patrick Corporation Ltd by Toll Holdings, Toll tendered the sale of the Bass Strait shipping interests in order to fulfil the requirements of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
In 2007, the business was acquired by a group of local investors, led by Tasmanian transport magnate Chas Kelly. The group recognised the opportunity to operate a standalone Bass Strait shipping and freight forwarding business and officially formed SeaRoad. At this time, SeaRoad operated with two RoRo vessels, Searoad Mersey and Searoad Tamar. Soon thereafter, it became evident that demand was higher than supply for Bass Strait capacity. In 2016, Searoad Mersey II became operational and replaced Searoad Mersey, significantly increasing capacity across Bass Strait.
Since 2018 to the current day, SeaRoad is once again a proud family owned business, with the Kelly and Morris families taking shared ownership. The Tasmanian-based Kelly family are led by Chas Kelly, SeaRoad’s Executive Chairman. The Morris family, led by Terry Morris, are based in Queensland and have a major influence within the Company’s Board.
Since the entry of Searoad Mersey II, demand continues to grow and SeaRoad recently invested in a charter vessel, MV Liekut to temporarily replace Searoad Tamar. The Liekut entered into the Bass Strait service in 2021, completing its maiden commercial voyage on 5 April 2021. The Liekut has further increased freight capacity across Bass Strait.
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