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The operator of a major Queensland coal export terminal say coal companies are partially responsible for the latest backlog of ships waiting to be loaded at the facility.
About 65 ships are waiting off the Dalrymple Bay terminal, south of Mackay, much higher than the ideal queue of 15 to 20.
In a national newspaper today, Macarthur Coal says delays in the supply chain are costing the industry up to $500 million.
Greg Smith from Dalrymple Bay management says he believes there are issues getting the coal to the port and that coal companies are accepting sales above the contracted capacity that they have with Queensland Rail and the port.
"The stark reality is if the coal companies are going to accept nominations which clearly exceed not only the port and rail contracts, but the ability to forecast the ability of the supply chain to deliver coal, the only consequence is a queue of ships," he said.
Meanwhile, Queensland Rail (QR) says it is working to improve a major coal supply network in central Queensland.
Marcus McAuliffe from QR Coal says the Goonyella system is complex but rail efficiencies are improving.
"The turnaround time on the system, if we go back to say February this year, was in the vicinity of 26 or 27 hours," he said.
"We've got that turnaround time down to about 21 hours now and we continue to introduce new train sets, we're going to have to continue to make improvements in that turnaround time."
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