'Largest' live export vessel unveiled

Wellard livestock shippingThe company has stated that size and speed of the Ocean Shearer is aimed at providing voyage flexibility as well as economic scale. (Image Source: Andrew Priest/Flickr)Australian livestock exporter Wellard Limited has unveiled the M/V Ocean Shearer, its largest purpose-built ship designed to transport live stock

The live export vessel has a capacity of 234,000 sqm and can carry up to 20,000 head of cattle, up to 75,000 sheep, or a combination of both. It has a fuel range of approximately 30,000 km. The vessel's fodder storage system will be able to hold about 3,000 tonnes of feed. 

The vessel was launched at the COSCO ship yard in Dalian, China. Wellard chief executive Mauro Balzarini claimed that the ship had the highest animal welfare standards of any vessel on the sea. The company stated that the vessel would have the highest speed in the industry and would increase the firm's fleet carrying capacity by 50 per cent.

"We have improved what is already an industry benchmark, our MV Ocean Drover, with stronger ventilation, higher fresh water production, and other enhancements of livestock services. These improvements will enhance animal welfare outcomes while the additional fodder capacity provides greater voyage planning flexibility and reduced costs," Balzarini said.

"The inclusion of the M/V Ocean Shearer into our fleet also ensures we continue to operate the youngest fleet in the world and one of the largest Australian Maritime Safety Authority-approved fleets in the live export sector," he added.

The vessel is expected to increase Wellard’s international trade in cattle and help meet increasing global demands for livestock. The ship will begin transporting Australian cattle to China later this year.

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