Capability Statement

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Port of Townsville has reported a 6.5 per cent increase in freight passing over its wharves last financial year, with exports of mineral concentrates and fertiliser listed as key factors in that growth.

It reported a $13.87 million net profit for 2019/20 and a saw almost 8.2 million tonnes of freight shifted at its Townsville and Lucinda operations.

In the annual report, Port of Townsville executives said the role of mining, resources and agricultural industries had never been more prominent, providing vital support for the region’s economy.

The Port of Townsville is Australia’s largest exporter of sugar, copper, lead, zinc and fertiliser.

And it saw a a 32 per cent increase in cattle tonnages by weight over the last financial year – making Townsville the nation’s largest cattle export port in 2019/20 as well.

Total exports reached 5,993,172 across Port of Townsville and Port of Lucinda, which was a 7.8 per cent increase on the previous year.

Mineral concentrate exports and fertiliser exports increased by
17 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, from the previous financial year.

There was a total of 2,162,678 tonnes of copper, lead and zinc
concentrate exported to international markets, together with
834,937 tonnes of high-analysis fertiliser.

However the low commodity prices impacted the region’s refined metals trade.

Refined zinc exports were down 10 per cent on the previous year’s volumes. Zinc ingots were stockpiled domestically, and export parcels warehoused overseas in anticipation of improved market prices, the report said. Refined copper exports fell 7 per cent on the previous year.

However Port of Townsville said these drops were offset to some degree with a 13 per cent increase in exports of smelted lead products.

An 11 per cent increase in Burdekin sugar exports saw 1,277,885
tonnes of raw sugar leave the Port of Townsville.

During 2019-20 containerised cargo imports were impacted by
COVID-19 related disruptions to international markets, weaker
demand for renewable energy project cargo in North Queensland
and slower development of resource projects.

There was also a flow-on effect of reduced volumes of imported mining

Mineral concentrate imports for 2019-20 totalled 418,021 tonnes,
a rise of 25 per cent on the previous year.

Sulphur was 18 per cent higher this financial year than last and bitumen imports were 15 per cent higher than the previous year.

Petroleum product imports, the Townsville port’s largest import commodity at 871,556 tonnes, remained almost identical to the previous year totals.