Port of Mackay evolving into multi-cargo gateway

Hoegh RORO tracker Port of Mackay

The arrival of super-sized roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels at the Port of Mackay marks a new chapter in the port’s strategy to increase its international trade.

Following extensive upgrades over 2017-19, the Port of Mackay has welcomed one of the world’s largest automobile vessels.

A Höegh Trapper berthed at the Port on 2 March 2019, carrying new and used mining vehicles and machinery destined for the Bowen Basin.

This is the first time that the Port of Mackay will facilitate an exchange of import, export and coastal cargoes at the one time.

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) Chief Executive Officer, Nicolas Fertin, said the arrival indicates the organisation’s commitment to investing in and upgrading its port facilities to attract new trade opportunities.

“In the past 18 months, we have invested almost $10 million in infrastructure upgrades at the Port of Mackay,” Mr Fertin said.

“This has enabled us to attract large, international RoRo vessels to the port, which then has a flow-on effect for the community. Large mining equipment can now be shipped directly to the region and assembled locally, providing the opportunity for local jobs growth.”

Norwegian-based shipping company, Höegh Autoliners, is one of the world’s leading RORO operators.

Höegh has increased its direct shipping service to Australia and New Zealand from the USA and Mexico, providing Mackay and the nearby Bowen Basin with a direct link to North American mining equipment manufacturers.

At almost 200m long and with the capacity to carry up to 8,500 cars, the Höegh Trapper marks the company’s third RoRo vessel to visit the Port of Mackay since mid-2018.

Höegh has committed a fourth RoRo vessel to berth at the Port of Mackay in April 2019.

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