The conversion from transporting raw sugar in bags, to receival, storage and shipping in bulk, commenced in the late 1950s. There are now six bulk sugar terminals in Queensland located at the ports of Cairns, Mourilyan, Lucinda, Townsville, Mackay, and Bundaberg. These terminals are able to store two and a half million tonnes of bulk raw sugar.
Although funded by growers and milling companies, ownership of the terminals was originally vested in the Queensland Government through the respective Port Authorities (then Harbour Boards) and were managed by the Queensland Sugar Corporation. Under the Sugar Industry Act 1999, ownership of the terminals was transferred in August 2000 to growers and millers through share allocation.
Sugar Terminals Limited (STL) is the company formed to represent the new owners. The terminals are currently managed by Queensland Sugar Limited under a leasing arrangement with STL.
However, from 1 July 2017, STL will oversee the operation and maintenance of these terminals, with Queensland Sugar Limited engaged as its key contractor under a long term Operating Agreement.