Located on the east coast of NSW, Port Kembla was established in the late 1890s to facilitate the export of coal from the mines of the Illawarra region. Since that time it has rapidly grown to accommodate both the expansion of traditional industries along with the development of new ones.
The diverse commodity base of the port today reflects the growth of the region and its capability to service the growing South West Sydney market. Historically the port has serviced the needs of regional industries, predominantly coal (export) and steel (import of raw materials and steel products). In more recent years the port has diversified its trade base to include general and break bulk cargoes, containers and motor vehicle imports. It is also the principal grain export port for producers in Southern and South-Western NSW.
The port is recognised as one of the Illawarra community's key assets, supporting the employment of many local people.