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The Northern Territory's Chief Minister says Darwin is on its way to becoming an international port with the arrival of the first Shanghai to Darwin shipment over the weekend.
It is the second shipping service to use the Port of Darwin since the railway reached the Top End last year.
Clare Martin says now that domestic and international trade has started, the Government will look at expanding infrastructure and facilities at the port.
She says the new trade route through Darwin is exactly what was envisaged for the port and railway.
"It's a start on what's really going to start the trade route, to be able to bring goods from China, which exports so much to Australia," he said.
"To be able to bring goods through Darwin to the rest of Australia using our trade route and rail is really going to see the benefits of the rail and the trade route for Darwin and the Territory."
Hai Win Shipping says it could become a permanent fortnightly service if there is enough business interest in trading through Darwin and if it proves to be quicker and cheaper than other routes.
Director Frank Guerra says the whole industry is watching this inaugural run and he is confident other companies will follow suit once the new route is proven to be successful.
"We have to rely on the service aspect, we have to beat a service that's coming into Adelaide, for example from Melbourne," he said.
"We have to beat that service, so between a fast transit between Shanghai and Darwin of approximately ten days and combined with a good transition on the land bridging down to Adelaide, we should beat that service."
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