The New Zealand port took over the Timaru Container Terminal in 2014 and has seen its investment returned in the form of increased volumes, which reached 1.1 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.
The Port of Tauranga broke the one million-TEU mark as carriers like Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud have begun calling the New Zealand port.
The Port of Tauranga posted a total container throughput of 1.1 million TEUs for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, an increase of 13.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
Exports increased 8.0 percent to 14.2 million metric tons, while imports grew 13.7 percent to 8.0 million metric tons, the port said in a statement.
Port of Tauranga Chair David Pilkington said the results “were a satisfying culmination to the Company’s $350 million expansion program,” which was completed last year. Under the program, the port’s shipping channels have been widened and deepened to 14.5 meters inside the harbor and to 15.8 meters outside the harbor. The port received two cranes and 13 additional straddles, as well as rail investments in facilities and around the port.
“It’s been a monumental year,” said Pilkington. “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 noted that vessels with capacities of up to 11,500 TEUs regularly call the port, with large carriers like Maersk and Hamburg Sud now calling there as well.
“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,” said Pilkington.
Net profits for the port rose 7.9 percent to $83.4 million during its fiscal year, with annual revenues rising 4.2 percent to $255.9 million.
Much of the growth in volumes and profits can be attributed to the Timaru Container Terminal, which has seen cargo volumes quadruple within the last three years, with container volumes reaching 84,900 TEUs for the latest fiscal year.
The Port of Tauranga, which took over operations at the terminal in 2014, is discussing upgrade options to wharves and other terminal facilities.
“What we’ve [seen] in Tauranga’s involvement with Timaru’s container terminal is an absolutely clear commitment to the district,” said South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Wendy Smith. “Manufacturers, and processors, and agricultural producers have access to global markets.”
Port of Tauranga’s earnings from Timaru were down about 4 percent for the year, however, partly due to the purchase of a new crane. Minor repair work to wooden wharves and pavements was also ongoing.