AN international shipping service proposal that would operate out of Bell Bay could begin as early as next month, if the state government gives it the green light.
Tasmanian Exporters Group chairman Bob Gozzi said the proposal, put to the government last month, would see Swire Shipping reintroduce the service that was lost in 2011.
The operation would cut Tasmanian export industry costs by more than 25 per cent, and prevent double-handling and the additional cost of the port license fee in Melbourne.
Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne has given no surety towards the Tasmanian Exporters Group's proposal.
He said the freight logistics co-ordination team had been assigned the task of finding an industry-led solution to Tasmania's freight crisis.
``The government has been encouraging discussions with international shipping carriers. However, any proposal would have to meet the needs of Tasmania's total export market potential,'' Mr O'Byrne said.
``Any taxpayer contribution towards a freight carrier could only be short term, and would need to benefit a wide range of Tasmanian businesses.
``Industry would also need to provide the higher volumes required to make any proposal sustainable in the long term.''
Mr Gozzi said the proposal opened up the opportunity to further discuss the service.
``Obviously there are significant issues to talk about, including the requirement of transitional funding,'' Mr Gozzi said.
``Our position is here, after some 18 months of thrashing around looking for a viable operator, we do have a company that is reputable, and has been in regional shipping in Australia since 1880.
``We would be very happy to hold further discussions, just to see where the issues are from the government's point of view.''