EASILY one of the most unique transport operations to feature in Beef Central’s inaugural Top 25 is Tasmanian-based Page Transport.
A family-owned company established in 1936 by the late Reg Page with a 1935 Bedford, Page Transport is now operated by his grandsons, Geoff and Chris Page.
The key distinguishing feature of the business is its livestock operations linking Tasmania and the mainland by sea. The business today moves more than 90pc of all livestock travelling to and from Tasmania and the mainland.
Page Transport has developed a livestock transit facility on both sides of Bass Strait, in close proximity to the roll-on, roll-off ports at either end. The head office and holding yards are based at Carrick in Tasmania, near the port of Launceston, while the Victorian depot is at Tullamarine, and holding yards at Bulla.
This provides the shortest possible transit time – a factor critical in some classes of livestock, allowing access to feed and water within as little as 18 hours from the start to the end of the journey.
Page liaises closely with the shipping companies providing the Bass Strait vehicle service, as to prevailing conditions. Calls are made as early as 6am on the day of sailing at the departure port, to determine whether conditions are suitable for crossing. Typically, sea conditions are deemed too rough for livestock transit on between 30 and 40 days a year.
Over the years, Page Transport has developed its own system of shipping livestock across Bass Strait, using purpose-built equipment. The trailers and containers have been continually improved and updated over 50 years since the first roll-on, roll-off crossing was completed in 1962.
The company has constructed almost 60 containers at its own workshop, and built more than 25 40-foot stock crates with appropriate weather protection and ventilation to withstand the rigours of notoriously rough and wet Bass Strait open-deck shipping.
The latest addition is the provision of rubber flooring in response to an issue with larger bullocks, where previously sawdust was used to cushion the feet preventing potential lameness on the longer journey.
Company facilities at either end include yards with state-of-the-art loading ramps, sheltered areas and paddocks for longer-term spelling, as well as hay stores for supplementary feeding, and washdown facilities for cleaning crates.
While the biggest portion of the work is on the leg from Launceston north (both slaughter cattle and feeder cattle), at certain times of year, paying traffic also grows in the opposite direction. Just currently there are about 30 loads a week heading into Tasmania, comprising mostly slaughter and stud cattle.
In addition to the Bass Strait crossing work, Page also does local carting work throughout Tasmania, and across Eastern Australia from the Victorian depot.
The company operates 17 late-model Freightliner prime movers, based both in Tasmania and Victoria. A total of 55 shipping units are used, made up of non-bruise B-double trailers, single trailers and shipping containers.
Reg Page was inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008, and is recognised in the Road Transport Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2005, aged 92.
Head Office: 315 Oaks Road Carrick Tas
Phone: 03 6393 6777
Geoff Page: Phone: 0418 134 595 [email protected]
Chris Page: Phone: 0419 508 252 [email protected]
Operations Supervisor – Tasmania Jacqui O’Neill: Ph 0419 367 429
Email: [email protected]
Melbourne Depot: 36 Tullamarine Park Road, Tullamarine Vic
Phone: 03 9338 1485
Operations Supervisor – Victoria Paul Spadafora Ph: 0427 518 404