Port of Tauranga has reported continued consolidation of national freight traffic across its wharves, reinforcing its position as New Zealand’s pre-eminent freight gateway.
In the six months to 31 December 2014, Port of Tauranga handled 426,512 TEUs (up 11.9% on the prior year), while total cargo volumes increased 1.2% to 10 million tonnes. Meanwhile, trans-shipped containers (those transferred from one ship to another) increased by 28.9% to 71,921 TEUs at the Tauranga Container Terminal.
Revenue for the half year was $136.3 million, largely unchanged from last year’s $137.1 million, with growth in container volumes and dairy and meat exports for the most part off-setting the impact of a drop in log volumes.
Reported Net Profit for the half year rose 8.2% to $42.6 million from $39.3 million in the same period last year. Underlying profit, which excludes one-off items, fell slightly to $38.5 million from $39.3 million last year. During the period, Port of Tauranga made a $4.1 million gain relating largely to the sale of a 49.9% stake in Timaru Container Terminal to Kotahi.
Port of Tauranga Chairman, David Pilkington, said: “Port of Tauranga has delivered a strong result for the first half, despite the drop off in log volumes. The 2014 alliance we struck with Kotahi is already driving increased freight volumes through the port.”
“We have also seen a strong increase in import volumes and we have new opportunities emerging on many fronts, particularly through our new South Island operations,” Pilkington added.
Port of Tauranga’s expansion of its South Island operations continues with the granting of a resource consent to develop a 15 hectare intermodal freight hub at Rolleston, 12 kilometers south of Christchurch.
The hub will allow South Island importers and exporters to efficiently access Port of Tauranga’s container terminal at Timaru. It will enable the receipt, packing and distribution of containerized cargo and the provision of empty container depot services. Construction is underway and the facility is expected to be operational by May 2015.
Meanwhile, in March 2015, Port of Tauranga will put the dredging of the Tauranga harbor channels out to international tender. The work is scheduled to be completed by August 2016. The Port will also soon take delivery of two new tug boats capable of handling the larger vessels we expect to be regularly visiting Tauranga.
The Board has also approved the purchase of two new super post-panamax gantry cranes to provide the crane intensity needed to handle the projections of over one million TEUs once big ships commence calling in the 2017 financial year.