NEW TRADE at the Gladstone Ports Corporation's Auckland Point Terminal has enabled it to become the second largest log export operation in Australia.
The GPC has projected its growth to handle nearly 145 million tonnes of trade within the next five years.
It says the Port of Gladstone is on track to be Australia's largest multi-cargo port by the end of the decade.
The export of logs began with the first shipment of 38,000 tonnes of logs to China last week. It is expected that woodchip exports will begin in September.
Auckland Point Terminal will process one shipment per month, making it the second largest log export operation behind the Port of Portland in Victoria, which processes one and a half shipments each month.
The new log and woodchip export trade is the result of a partnership between GPC and HQ Plantations, the largest plantation company in Queensland.
It is a collaborative effort to salvage timber plantations that were impacted in Cyclone Marcia earlier this year. GPC has been working closely with HQ Plantations to finalise a contract to begin export of the damaged trees and woodchip from Auckland Point.
GPC chief Craig Doyle said the future of the GPC was strong.
"We have always looked at ways in which we can diversify our product and customer base across our three ports, and this is a great opportunity to expand our exports through our Auckland Point Terminal," he said.
"We believe we can also significantly increase trade through Bundaberg and Rockhampton ports over the next few years."