Short term shipping deal signed

Tasmanian businesses have negotiated a short-term solution to the state's international shipping crisis.

The Rio Tinto subsidiary, Pacific Aluminium, has struck an interim deal with Swire Shipping to export aluminium from its Bell Bay smelter to Asia.

There is likely to be capacity on the ship for several exporters.

The announcement will be made today, ending two years of uncertainty for businesses that have been paying more to send their goods via Melbourne.

The triple-A consortium abandoned its Bell Bay to Singapore run in 2011.

Late last year, Swire proposed a service every 18 days from Bell Bay to Townsville, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

It is understood there is no ongoing taxpayer funding involved in the deal.

It comes almost a week after the Tasmanian Opposition promised to spend $33 million to underwrite a shipping service if its wins government.

The Tasmanian Opposition says a short-term international shipping service will not resolve the crisis faced by exporters.

The Opposition says the deal does not address the broader international freight task.

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