Port Moresby lies on the southeast shore of Papua New Guinea and is built around Fairfax Harbour, the island’s largest harbour. As the city capital and administrative centre of Papua New Guinea, it has the greatest population density in the country.
Europeans became aware of this port city when British explorer John Moresby sailed through the Gulf of Papua in 1873. About 15 years later, Great Britain established the colony of British New Guinea here, and named Port Moresby the capital. The area was occupied by the Motu and Koitabu people for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. The Motuans, who migrated to the area about 2,000 years ago, have sustained themselves despite the nutrient-poor soil and low rainfall by building seaworthy sailboats and sailing along the Gulf of Papua to trade their pottery for sago flour with the two big annual wind changes, the Laura Bada and Lahara.
Since the introduction of paper currency, roads, trade stores, supermarkets and of course shipping the Motuans no longer trade in this way.
The area was already an important trade centre by the time Captain John Moresby of HMS Basilisk first identified the area of the site later to become known as Port Moresby. The Englishman had just ventured through the Coral Sea at the eastern end of Papua New Guinea and upon encountering three previously unknown islands landed there. At 10 o’clock in the morning of 20 February, 1873, he claimed the land for Britain and named it after his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby. He called the inner reach "Fairfax Harbour" and the other Port Moresby.
Actual European settlement of the site did not occur until a decade later when the southeastern part of New Guinea island was annexed to the British Empire. British New Guinea was passed to the newly established Commonwealth of Australia in 1906, and became known as Papua. From then until 1941 Port Moresby grew slowly. The main growth was on the peninsula, where port facilities and other services were developed.
Papua New Guinea gained Independence from the Commonwealth of Australia in 1975 but still maintains close ties with Australia.
Inchcape Shipping Services is located on Level 5 of the Mogoru Moto Building on Champion Parade in Town, the business hub of Port Moresby, half a minute away from Fairfax Harbour.
PNG’s major exports are gold, silver, copper, crude oil, logs and timber, coffee and copra. Annually, Papua New Guinea exports about 1 million (60 kg) bags of coffee. This is the main source of income for the highland regions of Papua New Guinea.