New Zealand’s largest freight gateway, the Port of Tauranga, is on track to become the first in the country to transport more than one million containers across its wharves in a single year.
The arrival of the Hamburg Sud service in March is expected to provide a further boost to container volumes and ensure the company reaches the milestone of handling more than one million TEUs annually by the end of the financial year in June 2017.
The port also announced that it has increased its half year net profit to $41.9 million from $38.6 million, with export volumes up by 9% to 7.1 million tonnes and import volumes increased 7% to 3.9 million tonnes. Overall, trade increased 8% to 11 million tonnes.
David Pilkington, Chairman Port of Tauranga, said: “Our results show the Port of Tauranga is continuing to reinforce its position as the country’s premier freight gateway. We have lifted revenue and earnings and moved record cargo volumes including more than 510,000 TEU containers.
“Exporters, importers and the shipping lines are increasingly recognising the benefits of our deep water port and our efficient freight handling and stevedoring operations.
“In the 2017 financial year, we expect to become the first New Zealand port to handle more than one million containers in a 12 month period. This achievement is the direct result of our now-completed five-year $350 million infrastructure investment programme, which has extended the Port’s freight hinter-land across the country, prepared the port for large ships and provided importers and exporters with highly-efficient routes to the country’s most important markets.
Mark Cairns, Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, said: “We are consolidating our position as the port of choice for international shipping lines, with ship visits in the six-month period rising 4% to 774 from 741 in the same period last year.
“With bigger ships calling at Tauranga, we are handling significantly larger volumes of cargo per shipment. We continue to lead the way in setting productivity standards for the New Zealand port industry and we strive to look at all aspects of the container terminal operations to ensure that we remain cost-effective.”