The Port

The Port

Port of Newcastle is the largest port on the East Coast of Australia. As a global trade gateway for more than 220 years, we deliver safe, sustainable and efficient logistics solutions for our customers.

With a deep-water shipping channel, capacity to double trade volumes, available portside land, and berthside connections to the heavy rail network, few Australian ports can match the unique capabilities of Port of Newcastle.

Port of Newcastle is integral to the prosperity of our region and the state, enabling businesses across the Hunter and around New South Wales to successfully compete in international markets.

It creates jobs and generates more investment in our local communities. This contribution has been valued at $1.6 billion to the Lower Hunter economy and 9,000 local jobs per annum.

As custodians of our region’s most critical asset, we are striving every day to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port for the future.

What we do

Port of Newcastle functions include:

  • Trade and port development
  • Management of 792 hectares of port
  • Trade and port development
  • Wharf and berth services
  • Maintenance of major port assets
  • Vessel scheduling
  • Dredging and survey services
  • Cruise shipping
  • Legal, planning and environment
  • Finance
  • Community and stakeholder relations

Port of Newcastle works closely with the Port Authority of New South Wales, a state-owned corporation with responsibility for Sydney Harbour, Port Botany, Port Kembla and the ports of Newcastle, Yamba and Eden.

The Port Authority of NSW is responsible for:

  • Pilotage services and the Harbour Master
  • Promulgation of depths
  • Vessel Traffic Information Centre (VTIC)
  • Port Safety Operating Licence, including: incident reporting, emergency response (including oil or chemical spill response), permit notifications (e.g. re: dangerous goods, bunkering or hot works)
  • Coal framework arrangements
  • Inductions for access to Port Authority of NSW sites
  • Maritime security functions for Port Authority of NSW activities
  • Nobbys Headland



Since the first commercial shipment was recorded in 1799, Port of Newcastle has grown to become Australia’s third-largest port by volume.

However, it was the Awabakal clan of Muloobinba (Newcastle) that were the very first inhabitants of the area, living around the harbour and foreshores where there was an abundance of fish and wildlife. Shellfish was harvested by the local clans for thousands of years and their discarded shells were piled into enormous middens which were later burned by Europeans to produce lime for building purposes.

From the early years of the nineteenth century, the estuary of the Hunter River has been transformed from a series of mudflats and shallow channels to a major deepwater trading port.

Encouraged initially by the area’s large coal deposits and the establishment of BHP’s iron and steelworks in 1911, the Government invested significant amounts of money in reshaping the harbour through dredging, which commenced in 1859. Rock blasting and reclamation work continued to form the extensive Port land of the Dyke at Carrington, Kooragang Island and Walsh Point.

The fortunes of the City of Newcastle and the Hunter region remain linked to its working harbour, which has provided trading opportunities, the creation of industries and employment and a place to establish a community.

Organisation Structure

Organisation Structure

Our Shareholders, The Infrastructure Fund and China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort), each own 50% and have a strong, global track record in managing large infrastructure assets.

The Infrastructure Fund
  • The Infrastructure Fund (TIF) is a 50% shareholder of Port of Newcastle. TIF’s stake is held on behalf of TIF investors. TIF is one of Australia’s top performing infrastructure funds with a portfolio of Australian and overseas assets worth more than $2.4 billion. TIF investors include industry superannuation funds representing more than 2 million members, as well as other institutional investors.
  • Gardior is the trustee of TIF. As trustee, Gardior prides itself on the ability to add value through structuring an ultimate alignment of interest for investors.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) is TIF’s investment manager. MIRA is the world’s No.1 infrastructure manager*.

* Based on AUM. Willis Towers Watson Global Alternatives Survey 2017 (published July 2017)


China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort)
  • China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (“CMPort”) is a 50% shareholder of Port of Newcastle.
  • CMPort was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1992 as the first mainland enterprise to be listed in Hong Kong.
  • CMPort is China’s largest and a global leading port developer, investor and operator, with a comprehensive ports network portfolio spanning six continents and 18 countries and regions. Its nationwide port network includes coastal hub ports in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, Zhangzhou, Zhanjiang and Shantou. It also has growing presence in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, as well as Oceania.
  • CMPort’s strategic vision is “to be a world’s leading comprehensive port service provider”. Through implementation of domestic, overseas and innovation strategies, CMPort strives to achieve world-class level on various fronts, including global container throughput, market share, income from integrated port services, operational management capabilities and asset utilisation.

Facts and Figures

Facts & Figures

Port of Newcastle publishes a Monthly Trade Report which provides an overview of our monthly and year-to-date (YTD) commodity import and exports.

Yearly Trade Reports