TASPORTS has reported a drop in total cargo volumes for the first quarter of the 2024 financial year, but an increase in container volumes.

The ports in the TasPorts network handled 3.4 million tonnes in the first quarter, which was a 5.2% decrease from volumes handled in the same quarter last financial year.

TasPorts attributed the decrease to reduced demand for forestry, fuel, industrial and mining commodities.

However, it said the Q1 period also reflects an increase in demand for general cargo, fertilisers and aquaculture supplies.

The ports handled 151,854 TEU during the period, representing a 3% increase. TasPorts said the volumes were consistent with year-on-year expectations for growth in the container trade.

“The primary ports of Burnie and Devonport continue to dominate market share for containerised freight, with 49.4% and 43.5% respectively transiting these northern ports,” TasPorts said.

“Tasmania’s top three containerised goods by commodity group are general cargo, empty containers and foods.”

TasPorts VTS managed 555 vessel visits during the first quarter. About 70% of the vessels called the primary ports of Bell Bay, Burnie and Devonport.

The port corporation highlighted that Tasmania had re-established its position as a “successful and popular” cruise ship destination.

“In September 2023, the first cruise vessel for the 2023-24 season called at the Port of Hobart,” it said.

“From late October onwards, TasPorts looks forward to warmly welcoming more than 150 cruise vessels to ports around the state.”

TasPorts manages 11 seaports around the state and one airport.