Construction of a new $3.6 million laydown area has been completed just in time for a record shipment of new motor vehicles at the Port of Townsville.
More than 1,700 cars were unloaded over two days last week following the arrival of three car carriers from manufacturers in Japan and Thailand.
The number of vehicles is more than the Port would typically see in a full month, and places Townsville 18 per cent ahead of its motor vehicle import figures for the same time last year.
More than 280 truck movements involving car carriers are estimated to be required as transport companies undertake the two week long exercise of moving all of the passenger vehicles from the laydown area to destinations across Australia.
Port of Townsville General Manager Customer, Safety and Operations Drew Penny said the Port was expecting motor vehicle imports to continue accelerating over the coming months.
“The uplift is being driven by a shift in supply chains as car manufacturers begin to recognise the time and cost-saving benefits that can be unlocked by transhipping vehicles through Townsville,” said Penny.
“The Townsville Port offers excellent road connectivity, not just to our regional neighbours but many other parts of the country and this is proving a competitive advantage for us.”
A record single-carrier 1,381-vehicle shipment on Wednesday was among the trio of deliveries.
It was perfectly timed with the Port placing the finishing touches on a new $3.6 million laydown area just days prior to its arrival.
“The new laydown will add to our existing storage areas used for motor vehicles, project cargo and renewables,” said Penny.
“As our Port prepares for three-fold trade growth to 2050, we are continuing to invest in new and optimised infrastructure. The timeliness of laydown completion and commissioning couldn’t be better and it is excellent to see our investments bearing results so quickly.”
In 2022-2023 motor vehicle imports through the Port of Townsville grew 12 per cent on the previous financial year.
While the increase had initially been due to continuing catch-up from COVID-19 lags, transhipments are now happening regularly and appear to be here for the long-term.