Why trade with the Territory

Strategic location and global connectivity

Darwin, the Territory’s capital city, is Australia’s closest capital city to the world’s fastest-growing markets.

To the north of Darwin there are 8 capital cities, 36 major trading ports, 69 international airports and 485 million people - just over 20 times Australia’s population.

To the south of Darwin there are 6 mainland capital cities, 20 major trading ports, 23 international airports and more than 24 million people.

Darwin is a strategic transport hub with sea, air, road and rail services, including:

  • the 24/7 Darwin International Airport
  • the Port of Darwin, which is Australia’s closest shipping port to Asia. This multi-use, mixed cargo and marine services port is directly linked to the national rail network and is connected by major highways to other capital cities. Pricing is independently monitored by the Utilities Commission
  • the Darwin Marine Supply Base, designed and purpose built to service current and future demands of the Australasian offshore oil and gas industry
  • coastal shipping across northern Australia
  • cold storage facilities at both the airport and the port to support the import and export of perishable commodities
  • vapour heat treatment facilities to meet importing protocol countries’ requirements and direct export into Japan and Korea.

Port of Darwin

The deep-water Port of Darwin has modern freight handling facilities, a dedicated bulk liquids berth and links with an intermodal road-rail network across Australia. Darwin’s strategic location reduces shipping times to Asia - a trade advantage for the export and import of bulk commodities.

The Port of Darwin is the only Australian port between Townsville (Queensland) and Fremantle (Western Australia) with full access to multi-modal transport services.

Darwin Port also has world-class pilotage and harbour control systems and a seamless supply chain capable of handling containers and general cargo, bulk liquids, bulk materials, live exports and heavy lift oversized cargoes. It also services cruise ships and naval vessels at the Fort Hill Wharf facility.

For more information, go to the Darwin Port website.


Darwin is the capital of northern Australia, with regular flights to Cairns, Townsville, Kununurra and Broome within 2 hours flying time.

Find out more about NT airports:

  1. Darwin Airport
  2. Alice Springs Airport
  3. Katherine Airport
  4. Gove Airport
  5. Tennant Creek Airport
  6. Groote Eylandt Airport.

Trusted reputation

We are known for exporting high-value products, and we have a global reputation for quality and safety. Our biosecurity protection and monitoring systems are strong, with world-class food safety standards.

We have the space and natural resources to supply growing demand from all over the world.

The Territory is politically stable and has a strategic defence significance, world-renowned tourism attractions, and a vibrant and culturally diverse local population.

Strong economic outlook

After a decline in the domestic economy in 2020-21, the Territory’s economic growth is forecast to average 2.9% per year in the 5 years to 2025-26 - stronger than average annual growth of 1.5% in the 5 years to 2020-21.

Trade and investment are the foundations of this economic growth and are critical for the future of the Territory as we advance towards a $40 billion economy by 2030.

For more information on the Territory’s economy, read the industry outlook on the NT Budget 2022 website.

Page last updated 28 March 2023