Ports of Australia: A List of Largest, Biggest, and Busiest Shipping Ports in Australia

Australia is one of the two main countries that influence the economic growth and trade of the Oceania region. If you’re looking to trade in Australia, importing from or exporting to the USA, you want to find the best shipping ports. We discussed Australia’s largest, biggest, and busiest shipping ports here.

Map representing Australia shipping ports

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Australia’s Major Imports and Exports

Image containing related trade data of Australia’s imports and exports

Image Source: tradeeconomics.com

With a GDP of about $1.5 trillion, Australia is the 13th biggest economy in the world. This figure also represents the country as the world’s 24th largest importer and exporter.

Australia’s biggest trading partner is China, while the United States and Japan, among the other five countries, import and export to and from Australia. Its major imports are electrical machinery, while its major exports are metalliferous ores.

Over the years, major ports in Australia have contributed immensely to their economic development with a TEU growth trend of about 8000+ million TEU vessels.

Australia Port List: Biggest, Busiest, and Major Shipping Ports

If you’re going to trade globally in Australia, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Australian shipping ports that transport goods from China to Australia or anywhere in the world. This list will address every of your shipping concerns.

The ports discussed here are recommended as Australia’s biggest, busiest, and major shipping ports. They are; the Port of Hedland, Port of Brisbane, Port of Fremantle, Port of Newcastle, Port of Gladstone, etc.

#1 Port of Hedland

Port of Hedland Map

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Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUPHE
  • Port size: 11,844 square kilometers
  • Port address: 13 McGregor St Port Hedland WA 6721
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Gold and ore
  • TEUs: 452 million TEUs

Port of Hedland was founded in 1863 and named after Peter Hedland, the first European to arrive at the harbor in 1857. The port soon grew as a pearling port and began operation in 1888 as an outlet for tin and gold.
The Port of Hedland takes pride in being Australia’s largest bulk export port, with Pilbara Port Authority with an annual cargo of several million since it began operating. The port lies on the Western coast of Australia, where it connects to other seaports in Oceania.
Its average distance to China is about 6,424 kilometers. Learn more about the Port of Hedland to gain more info.

#2 Port of Brisbane

Port of Brisbane Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUBNE
  • Port size: 7.5 square meter
  • Port address: 1 Sandpiper Avenue Locked Bag 1818 Port of Brisbane, Queensland 4178 Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Cruise vessels
  • TEUs: 1,147 million

The port of Brisbane was first an artificial island created for recreation and tourism between 1909 and 1912. It was named majorly after Allan Bishop, the captain of the dredge ‘Hercules.’ However, in 2004, the port lost its character as an island due to expansion with large land reclamation.

Over the decades, the port of Brisbane has grown to become the leading and largest cargo port in Queensland, Australia. Importantly, the port has rail, road, and sea transport links, ranking at Maritime Security Level 1.

If you’re looking to ship goods from the port to anywhere in China, the average distance is about 8,700 kilometers. You can learn more about the port of Brisbane.

#3 Port of Fremantle

Port of Fremantle Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUFRE
  • Port size: 17.8 meters
  • Port address: 1 Cliff St, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Cement, iron ore, coke, sulfuric acid
  • TEUs: 31,981 million

The Port of Fremantle lies at the tip of the Swan River on the Indian Ocean, whose Colony was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829. The Colony was named after Captain Sir Charles Fremantle in gratitude for preventing the incursions by the United States or French.

Today, the port of Fremantle is an important asset for the economic development of Western Australia. It is one of Australia’s biggest and largest ports, trading over 31 million tons of cargo vessels annually.

The distance between the Port of Fremantle and China is about 7,642 kilometers, which gives you an idea of what will be covered from transporting goods to and from China. For further inquiries, learn more about the port of Fremantle.

#4 Port of Newcastle

Port of Newcastle Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUNTL
  • Port size: 16.2 meters
  • Port address: 251 Wharf Rd L 4, Newcastle, New South Wales, 2300, Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Coal
  • TEUs: 167 million

The Port of Newcastle is located at the mouth of the Hunger River on the east coast of Australia. Founded in 1801, the port gradually became an outlet for coal and farm produce. The port is the oldest Australian seaport and the world’s largest port for exporting coal, with over 167 million cargo transported yearly.

The average distance of the port from China is about 9,105 kilometers. The Port of Newcastle is also well linked to all the major shipping ports connecting the Asia-Pacific regions. So, if you’re seeking to ship cargo to any Asian country, you should learn more about the Port of Newcastle and its services.

#5 Port of Melbourne

Port of Melbourne Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUMEL
  • Port size: 143,000 square meters
  • Port address: Level 19/839 Collins St, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type:
  • TEUs: 2.6 million

After his agreement with the Aboriginal leaders, John Fawkner founded the Port of Melbourne in 1835. It’s one of the few ports established by an individual rather than a government directive.

The Port of Melbourne is one of Australia’s most important and busiest ports, handling about 40% of the country’s container traffic. In 2003, the Port of Melbourne broke the record as the first port in Australia to handle up to 2 million TEU yearly. But today, it handles much more than 3,000 ships annually.

As an important financial hub for the Asia-Pacific region, shipping to China covers a distance of about 9,199 kilometers. You can learn more about the Port of Melbourne to be well informed.

#6 Port of Gladstone

Port of Gladstone Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUGLT
  • Port size: 18.8 meters
  • Port address: 40 Goondoon St, Gladstone Central QLD 4680, Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Coal, aluminum, cement products, liquified natural gas
  • TEUs: 76.4 million

The Port of Gladstone is owned and managed by Gladstone Ports Corporation under the government of Queensland. Shipping in Gladstone began in the 1880s at Auckland Point, with live horses as the main export. Soon, the old facility expanded many times, containing four wharves and exporting over 50 million tons of cargo annually. The trade contributed greatly to the economy of Australia for 50 years.

The Port of Gladstone is Australia’s fifth largest multi-commodity port and the world’s fourth largest coal exporting port. The port handles the shipment of coal, LNG, etc., to countries such as Japan, India, China, and South Korea. It covers a distance of about 8,272 kilometers to China. You can learn more about the Port of Gladstone and its coverage to other locations.

#7 Port of Wellington

Port of Wellington Map

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Port basic or overview

  • Port code: NZWLG
  • Port size: 31 square meters
  • Port address: East Australia in New Zealand
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Meat, dairy products, etc.
  • TEUs:15 million

The Port of Wellington was founded in the 1800s and soon replaced Auckland as the capital of New Zealand in 1865. The port is the hub of communication and transportation in New Zealand, connecting inland North Island by rail and road. It handles domestic and international shipments with millions of tons of cargo annually.

The Port of Wellington is the only major port outside Australia, but it’s still considered part of its chain of ports. The port’s economy thrives on the import of petroleum products and exports of dairy products, etc., as well as tourism and other businesses.

Shipping to China takes about 10367.6 kilometers. You can check more information about the Port of Wellington.

#8 Port of Perth

Port of Perth Map

Image Source: Fremantle port

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUPTH
  • Port size: 14.7 meters
  • Port address: Fremantle, WA Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Pleasure craft
  • TEUs: 778,614 TEUs

The Port of Perth is located in Western Australia. The port is a sub-port of Fremantle. Shipping to the port commenced when Fremantle’s inner harbour opened for businesses in the 1890s, leading to many businesses migrating to Perth.

The type of vessels regularly shipped at Perth include, Passenger ships, Pleasure craft, etc., with a maximum length of 38 meters. The average distance leading to the port from China is 7,634 kilometers. Get more information about the Port of Perth.

#9 Port of Adelaide

Port of Adelaide Map

Image Source: Google

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUADL
  • Port size: 3,000 square meters
  • Port address: 296 St Vincent Street Port Adelaide, South Australia 5015 Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type: Electronic plants
  • TEUs: 100 million

The Port of Adelaide is a seaport suburb and the capital of Southern Australia. The Port of Adelaide was founded in 1836 and named after King William IV’s consort, Queen Adelaide. The port’s early economy was boosted in 1838 when livestock arrived in the country, contributing to the wool industry.

As the country’s largest and most important port, it accounts for most of the shipping activities in the region. The port handles several shipment types equating to more than 100 million tons of cargo and maritime cruises for tourism.

Its exports major on electronic plant systems to countries like China at an average distance of 624 kilometers. Find out more information about the Port of Adelaide.

#10 Port of Sydney

Port of Sydney Map

Image Source: CruiseMapper

Port basic or overview

  • Port code: AUSYD
  • Port size: 41.7 hectares
  • Port address: Level 2/1 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
  • Main cargo/vessel type:
  • TEUs: 29 million

The Port of Sydney is located on the inlet of the Tasman Sea, around Australia’s eastern shores. Founded in the 1770s, the continuous movement of immigrants to the Port of Sydney makes it one of the world’s most international cities and the second largest container port in Australia.

Over the years, cargo export expanded in volume and frequency of goods, leading to the construction of multiple ports, including the port of Botany, in 1971. As the state of New South Wales’s capital, the port is the most significant in the South Pacific, with millions of tons of cargo yearly.

In shipping to China, it’s possible to cover about 9,156 kilometers. Check out more info about the port of Sydney.


We’ve painstakingly researched and brought you Australia’s largest, biggest, and busiest shipping ports. However, not all the most important ports in Australia are mentioned in this blog. For instance, Port of Dampier, Port of Weipa, Port of Darwin, etc. But if you want details of these ports, you can contact us further by visiting our website, Zggship.

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