PORT of Newcastle has launched its first regular container service from its newly expanded Multipurpose Terminal to service agricultural, industrial, and consumer-goods businesses in the Hunter Valley, Liverpool Plains and north-west regions of New South Wales.
Delivered by Neptune Pacific Direct Lines, the service will see Newcastle become a regular call for container vessels, with import and export opportunities between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Port of Newcastle executive manager business development Matthew Swan said the service formally kicked off on September 16 when NPDL vessel Capitaine Dampier.
“We see this new service as an important step in growing container trade at the Port of Newcastle and in completing the missing link in the supply chain for growers, farmers and producers in north-western NSW looking to access South Pacific markets or even transshipment opportunities,” Mr Swan said.
“Around one third of NSW container exports originate in the Hunter and north-west, and we know agribusinesses in these areas in particular have been vocal in wanting a complete and more efficient agricultural supply-chain solution. ”
Mr Swan said customers using the Multipurpose Terminal are able to collect empty containers from the berth-side storage area, and have them delivered and packed on site for export.
“This will not only mean significant savings in landside costs for customers, but an all-round more efficient and convenient service, which is further enhanced by the Port‘s two on-berth Liebherr LHM 550 Mobile Harbour Cranes and direct access to national heavy road and rail networks.”
The NPDL container service will initially service the Port of Newcastle on a monthly basis, with a view to increase to a fortnightly service based on demand.
The next service call is scheduled for October 14.
The development comes after the NSW Parliament moved to extinguish a condition which stood to penalise the Port of Newcastle for exceeding a cap on container volumes handled.
Source: Port of Newcastle