Inchcape Shipping Services, (ISS), is advising that the adverse weather around the coast of North Queensland, Australia, is causing port disruptions, closures and evacuations. The current monsoon low lies over the north of the Coral Sea, but is expected to strengthen as it moves towards the coast. Forecasts predict there is a high probability it will develop into a cyclone on Wednesday or Thursday.
The ports of Townsville and Mackay are already closed, with berthing likely to be restricted or denied in Abbott Point and Rockhampton. Many ships are waiting at anchor, including 26 vessels outside of Mackay. The ports of Brisbane and Gladstone are currently open, but all vessel movements are being assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Ports along the North Queensland coast are key to the export of multi-cargoes, especially the export of bulk coal and commodities such as sugar and grain. Brisbane is the largest of Queenland’s cargo ports, and specializes in containers.