The coal terminal operates for 24 hours per day and seven days per week for shipping and receiving trains; however, it is only able to receive coal by public roads for 11 hours per day, and for six days per week.
"This limitation results in the coal terminal being unable to receive coal by public roads for over 60 percent of our total operating time," said Port Kembla acting general manager Peter Green.
The proposal will enable the coal terminal to be more efficient and support increased exports.
Port Kembla Coal Terminal receives coal from 12 mines in the Illawarra and Lithgow regions from both road and rail transportation which is loaded onto ships, with the current volume at approximately 12 million tonnes per annum.
"Restrictions do not apply to the times trucks can operate at other industry and port operators in Port Kembla, only the coal terminal, and this is clearly not equitable," Green said.
"Under the proposed change, trucks would be spread more constantly over the 24-hour period and we would see fewer trucks per hour during peak commuter periods."
The coal terminal has received coal by public roads on a 24/7 basis in the past when emergencies have been deemed to exist; the last time that occurred was from December 2006 to March 2007.
Green said much had changed since the regulation was developed more than 25 years ago.
"Trucks now use different routes, roads have been significantly improved with noise attenuation and jersey barriers, and truck fleets have been made both quieter and safer," Green said.
"Clearly it is time for a review of this old regulation in the context of today's operating environment and we are open to that process."