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Steel Supply Chain Boosts Northern Queensland Economy

Steel Supply Chain Boosts Northern Queensland Economy

Break Bulk Cargo Handling Shifts from Southern Ports to North Queensland

The logistics landscape in North Queensland is transforming with the successful handling of break bulk cargo through Townsville Port.

This shift brings significant advantages to the region’s supply chain, especially for local steel distributor Southern Steel.

Strategic Investment in Infrastructure

Historically, steel and other break bulk cargo were transported via southern ports like Brisbane and Sydney, then trucked to northern centres.

This process incurred freight costs of around $220 per tonne from Sydney. However, recent investments in Townsville Port’s capabilities by Northern Stevedoring Services (NSS) have facilitated direct shipments, reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Shannon Jordan, Townsville Manager for Southern Steel, highlighted the port’s upgrade and additional investments as game-changers. “Two years ago, we couldn’t bring in 18m steel lengths into Townsville Port.

After the upgrade, we can now meet our needs directly,” Jordan said. This development has allowed Southern Steel to enhance its service offerings and increase inventory capacity in the north.

Enhanced Local Supply Chain

The arrival of 3000 tonnes of steel at Townsville Port has bolstered the local supply chain, enabling faster fulfilment of orders for critical sectors such as mining.

“For industries like mining, where shutdowns can cost millions, having quick access to steel is crucial,” Jordan explained. The ability to rapidly supply and fabricate steel components locally ensures minimal downtime for operations.

Southern Steel’s new distribution centre in Bohle, operational for over a year, symbolizes robust confidence in North Queensland’s economic potential.

“Moving from Brisbane to Townsville, I saw the opportunity despite scepticism about the region’s market,” Jordan stated. “The next five years look promising, with ample work in mining and civil infrastructure projects.”

Future Prospects

As Townsville and North Queensland continue to thrive, the region anticipates numerous significant projects in the coming years.

This upward trajectory in local economic activity underscores the importance of strategic investments and infrastructure enhancements, such as those made at Townsville Port.

The ability to handle break bulk cargo efficiently at Townsville Port is transforming Northern Queensland’s supply chain, fostering economic growth and ensuring a steady supply of steel for vital industries.