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Tauranga claims the role of hub port for New Zealand

The Port of Tauranga is now handling 385,000 TEU of transhipment traffic.

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The Port of Tauranga has released a very healthy annual result for its financial year eded 30 June 2019. Total cargo volume increased 10.2% to 26.9M/t and container traffic grew 4.3% to 1.2M TEU. The total number of vessel calls at the port decreased 3.9% to 1,678 for the year, as the average vessel size continues to rise.


Transhipment was the fastest growing component of the port’s container traffic, registering an increase of 11.2%. Transhipment now accounts for 32% of Tauranga’s container business, equivalent to just over 385,000 TEU per year.


In the financial figures, Tauranga’s annual revenue increased 10.4% to NZ$313.3M. Group Net Profit After Tax passed the NZ$100M milestone for the first time, increasing 6.7% year-on-year to hit NZ$100.6M.


Port of Tauranga’s Chair, David Pilkington, said the results were evidence of Port of Tauranga’s success in becoming New Zealand’s major international hub port. He attributed the transhipment performance to its NZ$350M capacity expansion programme to accommodate bigger vessels, which was competed in 2016. Tauranga is now handling transhipment cargo to and from other NZ ports including Timaru, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.


Tauranga is also benefitting from being a pioneer in the use of inland rail terminals, where its first Metroport facility opened in Auckland 20 years ago. Tauranga includes the cost of inland rail delivery to Metroport in its stevedoring charges, and has spent over NZ$300M on capital and operating costs for Metroport since it opened. The rail service between Tauranga and Auckland has been very successful, with up to 86 trains now making the run each week, carrying up to 9,200 TEU. Volume at Metroport Auckland was up 4.3% in the year and the port claims the facility is now NZ’s fourth largest container terminal by volume.


Tauranga has since opened an inland terminal at Rolleston, near Christchurch, and is building another near Hamilton, called the Ruakura Inland Port. As well as getting freight off the road and onto rail, Tauranga is promoting the use of rail and transhipment as a sustainability benefit, on the basis that bigger vessels are more fuel efficient per TEU than smaller tonnage. “The availability of rail and coastal shipping to consolidate cargo at Port of Tauranga, and the efficiency of the big ship services, means we can also offer a lower carbon supply chain to our customers,” said Chief Executive Mark Cairns.


To manage future growth Port of Tauranga is planning to add another berth by extending the quay up to 385 metres to the south of the existing Sulphur Point wharves. It will take delivery of its ninth Liebherr STS crane in January 2020.



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