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Box throughput steady for Port Otago

Container throughput at kiwi port up 2% to 208,600 TEU.

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Box throughput steady for Port Otago

Port Otago in New Zealand, which owns and operates the Port Chalmers container terminal, has reported a steady result for its financial year ending 20 June 2019.


The 2% growth in container volume was down on previous years, but the port said it experienced a “significant increase in transhipment containers, as shipping lines hubbed containers through Port Chalmers to link with services to international export markets.”


On the other hand Otago has lost some market share of hinterland cargo. Port Otago said its direct exports and imports of dry and reefer containers fell 4% in FY 2019 “due to reduced volumes for processed timber customers and customers using cheaper alternative supply chains.”


Other cargo sectors performed better. Bulk cargo volumes of 1.8 million tonnes were up 5% on last year, with logs increasing 8% to another record volume of 1.15 million tonnes. 2019 was the second year in a row that log volumes have exceeded 1 million tonnes.


In financial results, the port reported a tax-paid profit of NZ$49.3 million by the Port Otago Group for the year ended 30 June 2019, up 12% year-on-year. The Group has extensive property holdings and rents and property sales made up around 25% of its revenue.


The increase in profit has not been well received by its workforce, which is currently in contract negotiations. These started in May but have stalled over wage increases and shift changes. At the time of writing the port’s two unions, the Rail and Transport Union and the Maritime Union of New Zealand had imposed an overtime ban. On learning that the port recorded a 12% increase in profit the unions promptly increased their demand for a 4% wage increase to 6%, and are threatening rolling stoppages if there is no progress in negotiations.

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