Transhipment builds for Kiwi ports
Transhipment now accounts for 25% of Auckland's total throughput
Even in smaller countries such as New Zealand, transhipment is changing the business cases for main ports.
Port of Tauranga commercial manager Graeme Marshall says over the past five years transhipment volume has risen from 4.8% to 8.6% of his port’s total tonnage, representing 15.1% of total container volume.
“We believe that Tauranga with its big ship capability [in the New Zealand context, to 6,500 teu] will in the future be a major hub, with transhipping a significant feature of this. All planning for terminal expansion takes account for all types of movements but we are factoring in the significant growth in transhipments - not only in respect to yard space but also reefer points.”
Further north, at Ports of Auckland, there has been an average 3% year-on-year growth in transhipment volume over the past few years, and it now represents about 25% of total throughput.
Ports of Auckland sales and marketing general manager Craig Sain says his port is “well placed” to support larger vessels and demand for greater supply chain optimisation brought about by shipping line consolidations and vessel sharing agreements.
“Such rationalisation results in fewer ports of call on the bigger services and increased connectivity between services to enable the feedering of imports/exports and empty distribution between the various ports,” he says.
Mr Sain says a big issue is that terminal yard capacity needs to be a consideration in the design of transhipment handling.
A timely information flow of the transhipment move - what vessel/voyage the containers are connecting to - is required, so a strategic plan can be implemented in the discharge and location of containers waiting for a connecting vessel. Less re-handling of the container means greater productivity and cost-efficiency in terminal operations.
“In order to achieve this we need to understand forecasting requirements of demand to plan for the capacity pressures that might exist, whether that is straight terminal slots (yard capacity) or reefer plugs capacity to meet the overall demand,” he says.
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