Shipping FAQ's


The Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd - Who we are

The Port of Brisbane is one of Australia’s fastest growing and dynamic multi-cargo port, handling around $50 billion of international freight.

Owned by the APH consortium (formerly known as Q Port Holdings), the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) is responsible for developing and maintaining port infrastructure and facilities, and for the provision of key services including maintaining navigable access to the Port for commercial shipping, and the operation of the Brisbane Multi-modal Terminal.

PBPL is not directly involved in the contractual arrangements of goods which are imported or exported through the Port. These arrangements are made between the importer/exporter and their nominated freight forwarder/customs broker or shipping line provider.

How can I find out about shipping movements into and out of the Port of Brisbane?

Queensland Transport publishes this information on its website. Visit the Maritime Safety Queensland QShips website.

You could also contact the Brisbane Regional Harbour Master who maintains this information on +61 7 3632 7500.

I need to ship goods from an overseas origin to Brisbane. How do I do this?

Depending on whether your goods are personal (e.g. you are relocating) or commercial (e.g. you are importing goods for sales or distribution), we recommend you use one of the following service providers.

A licensed customs broker or freight forwarder: These organisations can quote all shipping related services and costs likely to be incurred for Less than Container Loads (LCL) and Full Container Loads (FCL). These costs may include shipping, customs and quarantine clearance, tax/duty broking, wharf fees, warehousing or storage, cleaning and/or fumigation, documentation and other common related services.

Removalist (international): These companies can provide a range of specialty services – provision of knowledge and expertise; consolidation of goods; packaging; insurance; booking sea freight; and handling initial contact with Government agencies. Ultimately, they are able to arrange transport for everything from small fragile items to furniture and vehicles.
Shipping line: Shipping lines are generally focused on commercial trade of FCL, although some companies may offer customers additional services.
PBPL  recommend importers obtain a written quote for services from as many companies as practical, prior to making any shipping arrangements.

I have goods on the way, or recently arrived at the Port of Brisbane. What do I do next?

As the importer, you need to make necessary importation arrangements either before or upon the arrival of your goods into the Port of Brisbane. Your supplier, or the seller of the goods, should provide you with supporting shipping documentation and an estimated date of arrival for the goods. Using this, you are required to make contact with the shipping line or freight forwarder shown on that documentation to discuss your options for Customs and Agriculture clearance and any other arrangements you may require, including the payment of any local costs.
If the shipping/freight company listed in the documents does not appear to have a local Brisbane (or other Australian port) office, then you need to contact the relevant company to ascertain who is the local agent.
You will require the original information regarding the goods, including: 

  • Vessel and voyage number

  • Container number 

  • Bill of lading or Waybill number

  • Departure date and estimated arrival date

  • Number of packages and description of goods

  • Packing list

  • Commercial invoice (if relevant)

It is important to note the responsibility lies with you as the importer to make these arrangements as soon as possible. Failure to do so may incur expensive storage and/or other direct fees.

Can I import goods without using a Customs Agent or Freight Forwarder?

This is possible, however PBPL recommends anyone considering importing goods without using a customs agent or freight forwarder are fully aware of Australian import laws and restrictions before arranging any import shipments.
PBPL further recommend you contact both the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Department of Agriculture in the first instance to obtain a clear understanding of their requirements.
Please see below website links for further information.

What are port charges?

PBPL applies a cargo-based fee for wharfage, harbour dues, port access and maritime security. This is invoiced directly to the shipping company or their agents, as per the rates published in our Schedule of Port Charges.

Some cargo owners may misconstrue charges invoiced to them by a shipping line, freight forwarder or customs agent as complete PBPL port charges, however this is not the case.

Importers should be aware that a freight company’s fees regularly include a proportion of PBPL port charges, along with other relevant fees which make up the total Port Service Charges or Port Charges/Fees.

If you have questions about port charges attributed to your imported goods, please contact our Trade Development team 07 3258 4888


What can I do if I dispute the charge from a Freight Forwarder/Customs Broker?

PBPL has no influence or control on the fees applied by freight companies operating at the Port of Brisbane.
If you dispute a fee or charge applied by your shipping line, freight forwarder or customs agent, PBPL recommends that you immediately contact the company in which you have engaged to discuss your concerns.
If a resolution is not found, you may wish to contact the following two industry associations for advice:

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission -
Queensland Office of Fair Trading -