Port of Tauranga Limited, the New Zealand’s busiest port, last week announced record annual earnings as freight volumes increased across all major cargoes.
Port of Tauranga Chair, David Pilkington, said that the results were a satisfying culmination to the company’s $350 million expansion program, which included a major harbor dredging project to widen and deepen shipping channels to accommodate larger ships.
“It’s been a monumental year,” Mr Pilkington said. “The successful completion of our dredging project in September was a turning point, as bigger vessels were able to call in New Zealand for the first time.”
“As soon as the dredging was finished, larger vessels were introduced on Tauranga-only port calls,” he said.
Vessels with nominal capacities of between 7,500 and 11,500 TEU now regularly call on a weekly basis, compared to a pre-dredging maximum of 4,500 TEU ships.
“These large vessels are providing New Zealand importers and exporters with very fast, direct and economic services to North Asia and beyond. As Port of Tauranga is the only Australasian port of call on these services, it is an efficient trans-shipping option for Australian exporters,” Mr Pilkington said.
As well as larger container vessels, the port is also seeing larger bulk cargo and passenger ships.