As part of a NZ$8 million ($5.72 million) investment to improve infrastructure two new reach-stacker handlers have arrived at Northport, New Zealand.
The investment was made to handle unplanned, large-scale container traffic. In a statement Northport said it expects container traffic to continue to grow and now is the right time to expand the container-handling, receipt, and dispatch capability.
The company is forecasting a 15% year-on-year increase in the volume of container traffic for this financial year to the end of June.
The port has also purchased a new dock-truck and MAFI trailer, simulation training equipment and has planned to expand its container storage area and upgrade its lighting to improve safety during 24-hour operations.
John Moore, CEO of Northport, spoke to PTI about the investment: “The new equipment will give us far greater flexibility and efficiency when it comes to accommodating the surge volumes. The new plant will enable us to increase productivity while taking the pressure off our older equipment. It will also enable us to manage dispatch of containers while simultaneously working vessels, speeding up the dispatch process and enabling us to reduce our container-handling footprint.
“Our previous fleet was more than capable of handling the ‘business as usual’ demand but the surge volume experienced in 2020/2021 meant we had to react sooner than our budgeted plant replacement/reinvestment plans.”
The port expects that the increased container demand will require a terminal capability of around 450,000 TEU, but with increased container handling equipment, the terminal has potential to hand around 750,000 TEU in its long-term growth.