top of page

Container Transport



Living in one of the most isolated cities in the world has resulted in the Western Australian Flying Fifteen fleet members being regular users of shipping containers to transport their yachts to national championships on the East coast of Australia and world championship events overseas.


Shipping of containers to and from the port of Fremantle is not difficult with proper planning and consideration of local quarantine and customs requirements.


Australian quarantine laws are particularly strict and the Quarantine Service is very thorough, so any breaches, no matter how slight, are likely to result in a full inspection at significant cost and in certain circumstances could result in unacceptable delays of boats getting to the regatta venue on time.


To avoid unnecessary issues and problems the Organising Committee (“OC”) are keen for all competitors shipping their boats via sea containers to use Mediteranean Shipping Company Australia (MSC) to handle quarantine and customs clearance and the transport of the containers from the wharf to Fremantle Sailing Club and back again to the wharf primarily because of quarantine inspection issues.  The OC and MSC are endeavouring to have a separate bonded area at Fremantle Sailing Club where all containers will be opened for inspection at the same time and thus avoid the costs of potential double lifting of containers and the possible need for them to be unpacked on arrival into the port and then repacked before transport to Fremantle Sailing Club.  In the event this is not possible additional costs will be incurred in taking the containers from the port to an authorised inspection facility, where they will be inspected and possibly unpacked and repacked before being transported to Fremantle Sailing Club.


Flying Fifteen sailor, Neil White has agreed, on behalf of the OC, to liaise with competitors concerning shipping arrangements.    He is currently compiling a discounted freight package with MSC and should be your first port of call when arranging your shipping.  Neil’s email address is and his phone number +61 (0) 401 927 202. 



There are two options you can consider – RORO (roll on roll off) which is mainly used for motor vehicle transportation and containers. The Organising Committee has done some initial investigation of the costs associated with RORO but have found it to be considerably more expensive than the alternative of boats sharing a container. Containers must be the 40 foot hi-cube size with wooden floors to facilitate tek screwing wheel chocks, storage boxes and possibly keel racks to the floor.


There are two main shipping routes to Fremantle from Europe – one is a direct sail to Fremantle with a typical sailing time of 35 – 40 days. The second is trans-shipping through Singapore or Port Klang (Malaysia). The latter option should be avoided as there can be up to 4 week delays in these ports as shipping lines have consolidated and the number of ships operating has declined. You should aim to have your Flying Fifteen containers to arrive in Fremantle by mid to late February 2023.


MSC have developed a costing matrix which details departures from ports in the UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand, together with indicative costs associated with each step in the process.  The most fluid of these costs are the container freight rates as the shipping lines are reluctant to give long range pricing.   To obtain an indicative cost estimate please contact Neil White.  His contact details are noted above.


As noted above Australian quarantine laws are particularly strict and the Quarantine Service is very thorough.


Avoid packing any wooden objects other than for securing the boat in the container and if possible use other materials for packing. If wood is to be used please ensure only heat treated wood is used by the yard that is stamped with an ISPM15 logo. Do not ship objects such as wooden ladders.  Avoid any foodstuffs. Items shipped in the yacht should be kept to a minimum such as sailing gear and sails. However, you might like to put some bikes in the container as Fremantle is a very bike friendly city.


Ensure the boat and trailer (and bikes) are clean.  Given the trailers will be packed in winter, it is likely there will be mud on them and possibly the boat covers. Please ensure the trailers and covers are clean before loading into the container or it will be cleaned in Fremantle at an additional cost.


In response to the rapid expansion of the brown marmorated stink bug (“BMSB”) throughout Europe and North America, the Department of Agriculture has strengthened the seasonal measures to manage the risk of BMSB arriving in Australia during the 2019–20 BMSB risk season and it may have a flow on effect into the 2023 season.   These measures may include the need for containers to be fumigated before departure and also on arrival.  It is important any such requirements are understood and addressed before shipping from overseas.


Please ensure any keys pertaining to trailer lockboxes or other locked compartments are either handed to the exporting agent at destination or forwarded directly to the clearing agent at Fremantle. It is imperative the keys are received/available to Quarantine upon shipment arrival so all inspections can be undertaken in a timely manner.

Container Arrival

Our preferred position is that as part of the MSC package a transport company will pick up the containers from the wharf and take them to Fremantle Sailing Club to a bonded area for customs Australian Customs and Quarantine (AQIS) inspections.  If this is not possible the containers will be collected from the port and delivered to an authorised inspection facility, where they will be inspected and possibly unpacked and repacked before being transported to Fremantle Sailing Club.


It is suggested that as part of the shipping arrangements containers not be de-hired once the yachts are removed on arrival at the Fremantle Sailing Club as the containers can stay at the Club and be used for gear storage before being used again for the return voyage.  Normally the shipping rates can be negotiated to incorporate a “free” rental period and this alleviates the need for another container lift and drop off charge.

Import Paperwork

The usual protocol for shipping goods into Australia and then shipping the same goods back is to use a Carnet – please use the following link:


Please note that Customs inspection fees may be applicable/additional at time of importation into Australia and re-importation back at origin as Customs may or may not seek to verify container contents match the Carnet documents in order to acquit the document.


Goods imported into Australia that are not re-exported back will be subject to Australian import duties (5% of the value of the goods, insurance and freight) and then a further 10% Goods and Services Tax (“Australian VAT”) on the total of the goods, insurance, freight and duty. So effectively charges of 15.5% on the value goods, insurance, freight.

Return Shipment

At the end of the regatta, you will need to pack your yachts and associated gear ready for shipment. Allow a minimum of 5 – 7 days from the end of the regatta to the shipment date to allow delivery from Fremantle Sailing Club to the wharf. 


We look forward to welcoming you to Perth and assisting in getting your yachts to and from Fremantle.  As alluded to above there are numerous issues to address and we would encourage participants to organise their transport arrangements early and to take advantage of the assistance that could be provided by MSC.

Read all about "Mediterranean Shipping Company"


bottom of page