Tauranga port 'a success', finds Working Group

Industry Database

A 21-page interim progress report has been published by the Working Group undertaking the review of Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy.

Aiming to develop a plan for an efficient freight network for the upper North Island — including ports, land and rail and road networks — the Working Group has determined those ports are “critical” to the country’s freight task.

“Together they account for approximately half of New Zealand’s total export volume and two-thirds of its import volume (in tonnes),” it stated.

“Port of Tauranga handles the highest volume of all New Zealand ports in tonnes. Our view is that Port of Tauranga capitalised on the public infrastructure provided to the Bay of Plenty region which subsequently has made the port a success. We will therefore be considering whether similar investment in Northland would provide similar results for the region and Northport.”

However, the report noted there was “general agreement” among stakeholders that the network was constrained and that there had been a lack of infrastructure investment.

“As a consequence, the network has insufficient capacity to handle increasing volumes of freight.

“One consistent and overarching theme in the stakeholder comments was the need for a national, connected and well-functioning rail system. There was unanimous support, including from the road transport and coastal shipping groups, for a fully-functional rail freight system.”

The Working Group’s next report is expected to lay out options and details to improve the supply chain, with its final report providing recommendations.

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