Northport is to invest some NZ$8 million ($5.72 million) in infrastructure to support the growth of container traffic through the port.
The port, based at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, has placed orders for two new reachstacker container handlers and a new dock-truck and MAFI trailer.
Northport is also investing in a simulator module to train staff in the handling equipment’s operation; expanding its container storage area; and upgrading its lighting to enhance safety.
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.
Jon Moore, Chief Executive at Northport, said, “This investment demonstrates our commitment to growing container traffic through Northport to service the trade needs of both our region and north Auckland. It’s a solid vote of confidence in the potential for significant and continued economic growth around our region and across the Upper North Island.”
Moore continued that the port has had to rise to unexpected challenges presented by “unplanned and large-scale container movement,” with the bare minimum of equipment.
“I’m hugely proud of the way our small team has adapted and used what we have to great effect. But we expect container traffic through Northport to keep growing so the time is right to expand our container-handling, receipt and dispatch capability.”
The company is continuing with the work and studies it needs to complete before lodging the Resource Consent application for its growth plans.
Moore added this investment was not linked to possible expansion of the port.