Port Kembla is set to take over NSW’s car trade.
Car imports into Glebe Island have officially ended, marking the final chapter of Sydney’s signature harbour.
With the last car carrier leaving Glebe Island last weekend, NSW’s vehicle trade will now be completely taken over by Port Kembla.
Sydney Harbour’s Glebe Island and White Bay precinct had been responsible for all of the state’s ro-ro and vehicle trade since the 1970s, but as the port reached near capacity, the trade has been progressively relocating to Port Kembla since last October.
NSW Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said while the termination of car trade services would lead to a declining number of commercial ships visiting Sydney Harbour, it would remain a working port.
While Glebe Island greeted sentimental farewell, Port Kembla is expecting new growth opportunities from the new services.
Port Kembla was named the 2008 Port of the Year, in recognition for its work on major infrastructure projects to transform itself into Australia’s next-generation car import facility.
The port’s 105 berth is being extended by 80 metres, enabling the port to provide berths totalling 800 metres in length to accommodate up to three car-carrying vessels simultaneously.
“About 30-40 per cent of cars coming to the port will be processed on site. Car importers will be able to send cars directly from the port to their final point of sale rather than having to first send them to a separate processing facility,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Work has been ongoing over the past three years to ensure we meet the tight deadline for the relocation of the NSW vehicle, general cargo and Darling Harbour container trade to Port Kembla.
“More than $170 million has been spent on the port upgrade, which includes two new berths, bridges, road and rail realignment and cargo-handling facilities,” he said.
Port Kembla’s new import facilities will be operated by Australian Amalgamated Terminals.
Over the next few months, vehicles will continue to be stored at Glebe Island and White Bay warehousing facilities before moving to car yards and sales agents.