Ships Queuing at Australian Ports Reach Record High

6 April 2010 (Last Updated April 6th, 2010 18:30)

The number of ships delayed at Australian ports due to bottlenecks at coal export terminals has reached a record of 223. Following a cyclone that affected Dalrymple Bay and Hay Port, Queensland, 103 ships are still waiting to access the port. The backlog is causing a huge loss in

The number of ships delayed at Australian ports due to bottlenecks at coal export terminals has reached a record of 223.

Following a cyclone that affected Dalrymple Bay and Hay Port, Queensland, 103 ships are still waiting to access the port.

The backlog is causing a huge loss in export revenues with an estimated eight million tons of coal waiting to be shipped abroad, reports the austalian.com.

Commodore Research director Jeffrey Landsberg said most of the ships were waiting at east coast coal ports, with numbers doubling over the past month.

London-based Rio Tinto Marine general manager Alastair Fischbacher said it was a complex situation with a lot of users trying to move maximum tons over a fairly constrained system, the newspaper reports.

The congestion continues despite a major terminal expansion completed at Dalrymple Bay eight months ago as well as upgrades to the first shipments from a third coal point terminal at Newcastle.

The congestion at the Australian ports is now more than three times higher than levels in China.