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New Zealand: dredging project sees Port of Tauranga on track for one million TEU

News // February 24, 2017

New Zealand’s largest freight gateway Port of Tauranga says it is on track to become the first port in the country to transport more than one million containers across its wharves in a single year.

It also announced a strong 8.5 per cent improvement in group half year net profit to NZ$41.9 million from NZ$38.6 million in the same period a year ago, as half year trade volumes grew 8 per cent to 11.0 million tonnes and the Port continued to set new national standards for port productivity. Half year group revenue increased 2.8 per cent to NZ$125.3 million.

The Port of Tauranga Board has declared an interim dividend of five cents per share – up 8.7 per cent on the prior year’s interim dividend1. The record date is 10 March and the payment date is 24 March 2017.

Chairman David Pilkington 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 NZ$350 million infrastructure investment programme, which has extended the Port’s freight  hinterland 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.

“Our world-class infrastructure will benefit the New Zealand economy for years to come,” Mr Pilkington said.

Chief Executive Mark Cairns 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. Following the completion of our harbour dredging programme in September 2016, Maersk introduced a large vessel service, with Tauranga as its only New Zealand call.  The 9,500 TEU Aotea Maersk has been a regular visitor since October.

“Meanwhile, Hamburg Sud last month announced it will introduce in March a big ship, peak season weekly service, with Tauranga as its only New Zealand call. The largest cruise ship ever to visit the Bay of Plenty – the 4,700 passenger, 1,600 crew Ovation of the Seas – also made its maiden voyage to Tauranga on Boxing Day and has made a couple of further calls since.

“It is pleasing to see shipping lines take advantage of the possibilities created by the harbour dredging programme to bring in larger vessels. The economies of scale that come with larger ships drive transport efficiencies and ensure New Zealand exporters retain direct routes to international markets.

“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.”

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