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THE Port of Mackay has recorded increasing trade over the past several months, with increasing tonnage across several trades.

The Port of Mackay recorded 235,533 tonnes of trade in February. The port’s trade results are 23% above last year’s throughput for the same financial-year-to date period, totalling 2.4 million tonnes.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation CEO Nicolas Fertin said increases have been recorded in grain, magnetite, fertiliser and molasses. He said break bulk trade also continues to grow.

“A recent break bulk shipment saw the super-sized Höegh Trigger, with an impressive length of almost 200 metres, berth at the port on 9 February – carrying two CAT 797 haul trucks bound for the Bowen Basin,” Mr Fertin said.

“The trucks, with a special target payload of 371 tonnes and gross power of 4,000 horsepower, were part of a shipment into the Port of Mackay that totalled 3308 freight tonnes.”

Mr Fertin said growing break bulk trade through the port has been a team effort.

“From Texas in the US to Paget in Mackay and then onto the Bowen Basin, the delivery of the trucks involved several companies and service providers, bolstering local jobs along the way,” he said.

“The trucks started their journey at Caterpillar’s original equipment manufacturer facility in the United States, where they were loaded onto Höegh Trigger in Freeport, Texas bound for Australia.

“The trucks were then transported by one of Australia’s largest logistics providers, Centurion, to the Hasting Deering facility in Mackay for assembly.”

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Mr Fertin said the Port of Mackay is an essential gateway linking Central Queensland to the world, servicing mining and agricultural industries and supporting 2,100 trade jobs and delivering an economic contribution of $3.5 billion.

“In 2020-21, we invested in $1.8 million to expand cargo capacity at the Mackay’s Wharf Four and a $2.5 million to extend Wharf One. We’ve greatly improved our ability to handle larger cargo such as rail infrastructure, wind turbines and heavy machinery,” he said.

Mr Fertin also said work is progressing on a new $8.5-million tug berth facility at the port, aimed at supporting growth and diversified trade.

“Our proximity to current and future regional resource projects in the Bowen Basin, agricultural developments, and to Australia’s leading mining equipment technology and services (METS) hub in Paget, makes the Port of Mackay an ideal and efficient global supply chain solution,” Mr Fertin said.

Oskar Orstadius, Höegh Autoliners chief sales officer said the company pioneered the addition of Mackay to its service back in 2018.

“Today we are the only roll-on-roll-off carrier with a direct service to the port, offering North American and European equipment manufacturers direct connectivity to Central Queensland and the Bowen Basin,” Mr Orstadius said.

“Our vessels and equipment are specially designed to transport over-dimensional cargo. With good co-operation and handling by NQBP, we can serve our customers in both the mining and agricultural industry better by landing heavy cargo closer to its destination.”

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