About Shipping

About Shipping

DBCT is equipped to accommodate a range of different ships, which are chartered by customers of the mining companies servicing DBCT (i.e. steel manufacturers) due to the ‘Free on Board' sales terms of the coal sales agreements. As the Bowen Basin coal producers sell metallurgical coal all over the world, the terminal must service ships between 20,000 tonnes and 220,000 tonnes DWT (Dead Weight Tonnage: a measure of how much weight a ship can safely carry).

The following types of ships are commonly loaded at DBCT

• VLC (Very Large Cape) : >= 140,001 tonnes
• Cape Size : >= 90,001 & <= 140,000 tonnes
• Panamax : >= 70,001 & <= 90,000 tonnes
• Handymax : >= 50,001 & <= 70,000 tonnes
• Handy Size : >= 30,000 Tonnes & <= 50,000 tonnes

The majority of the cost of chartering these ships is borne by the purchaser of the coal. However, once a ship has been given an approval to anchor (ATA) and exhausted the charter party time allowed to load (between 4-6 days), a percentage of the cost of the idle ship until last line (i.e. sailing) is generally borne by the coal producer either wholly or partially, at a fluctuating rate (demurrage).

Ships are sailed in to the port by the Captain after which the ship then anchors offshore until the coal and a loading berth are available. When a berth is available and the coal is ready for loading onto the ship, a local marine pilot is transferred to the ship by helicopter and assists the Captain in guiding the ship to the correct berth in preparation for loading. Once the ship has completed loading coal, it can then leave the berth and port and travel onwards to various ports around the world.