New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga has just announced that Rohde Nielsen is more than a third through the work to dredge Tauranga harbor’s shipping channels to a depth of 14.5m inside the harbor entrance and 15.8m outside the harbor entrance.
It is on track to complete the work under budget and ahead of schedule in July.
Chief Executive Mark Cairns said: “With the Tauranga harbor channel dredging proceeding well, we are on track to complete our contractual commitments with freight and logistics management company Kotahi by July, in order to see larger vessels starting to call at the container terminal by the end of 2016.”
“This is the final building block in our five year $350 million investment program to prepare for larger ships, which have the potential to deliver annual savings of as much as $300 million to New Zealand shippers,” added Cairns.
“In the medium term, with the arrival of larger ships, we will be handling significantly larger volumes of cargo per shipment. We are looking at every aspect of our operations to ensure that we are ready for the step change later this year,” said Cairns.
The Port has expanded landside capacity at the Tauranga Container Terminal and also ordered two new container cranes and thirteen new straddle carriers, which are scheduled for delivery by September and will significantly enhance the Port’s “best in class” terminal productivity.
The Port has also focused on improving efficiency in the rail connection between the Tauranga Container Terminal and the inland freight hub at MetroPort Auckland. These efforts have been rewarded with a 24% increase in the volume of containers carried on the rail corridor compared with the same period a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Port has agreed a ten year freight deal with kiwifruit exporters Zespri International and Tauranga Kiwifruit Logistics, which will see a long term approach taken to investing in cool storage and port operations to cope with the expected growth in the kiwifruit industry.