Port of Townsville set a record for container trade in 2017-18, with 75,827 TEUs handled – a 47 per cent increase on the previous year.
The organisation recently released its annual report, showing a net profit of $15.01 million for 2017-18, while overall trade volumes remained steady against previous year at 7.3 million tonnes (0.18 per cent decrease).
The bumper 2017-18 result for container trade was fuelled by imports for renewable energy projects.
Motor vehicle imports also hit a record high at 17,659 units (up 20 per cent), liquid bulk trades increased 3 per cent and dry bulk trades decreased 5 per cent on previous year.
New agricultural trades made their way to markets, including the first live cattle exports from Northern Australia to China and new refrigerated exports (including mangoes to Hong Kong, South Korea and China).
New and expanded shipping routes were introduced, making the region even more accessible to global markets.
Townsville Port had a record cruise shipping year, receiving 12 ships with around 13,000 passengers and crew. The first partial cruise ship turnaround and 15 more cruise ship bookings have been received for 2018-2019.
Significant milestones were achieved for major infrastructure projects including:
- $40.7 million Berth 4 upgrade was completed and opened to shipping.
- $193 million Channel Capacity Upgrade Project received $75 million from the Queensland Government and $43 million from the Port. [The Federal Government committed $75 million in September 2018].
- The $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project received the green light, with the Additional Environmental Impact Statement (AEIS) approved by both the Queensland and Federal Governments.
- Two catalyst Harbour City Projects within the Townsville Waterfront Priority Development (PDA) took significant steps forward, including The Strand Ferry Terminal (Market Led Proposal) and the Marine Science Precinct (Expression of Interest Process).
Chief executive officer Ranee Crosby said the year was full of major achievements that would set the region up for future prosperity.
“This year was a significant one for us, reaching historic milestones in a number of new sectors, completing the $40 million Berth 4 upgrade, and securing the green light for our $1.6 billion 30-year development plan to secure North Queensland’s future growth,” Ms Crosby said.
“The $193 million Channel Capacity Upgrade Project is now set to go and will be the largest infrastructure investment in our history.”