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New Zealand’s largest port has reported Group Net Profit After Tax of $111.3 million on 25.6 million tonnes of trade amid ongoing supply chain disruption.

The increase in revenue reflected the strong diversity of cargoes, resilient operational performance and ongoing storage revenues due to continued vessel schedule disruption. Total ship visits also increased for the first time in four years, boosting marine services income.

Results summary:

  • Total trade was steady at 25.6 million tonnes (down from 25.7 million tonnes).
  • Container volumes increased 3.4 percent to 1,241,061 TEUs (from 1,200,831 TEUs).
  • Group Net Profit After Tax increased 8.7% to $111.3 million (up from $102.4 million).
  • Final dividend of 8.2 cents per share.
  • Total ordinary dividend of 14.7 cents per share (compared with 13.5 cents per share the previous year).
  • Imports increased 3.0% to 9.7 million tonnes.
  • Exports decreased 2.5% to 15.9 million tonnes.
  • Subsidiary and Associate Companies’ earnings decreased 16.2%.

Port of Tauranga Chair, Julia Hoare, says the results are pleasing, but also reveal an extremely challenging time for the Port.

“Supply chain disruption continues to have a massive impact on our ability to deliver an efficient service for importers and exporters. We have done our best to incentivise smooth cargo flows and the financial results reflect that,” she says.

“Around 65 percent of all vessels continue to arrive off-schedule, there are still operational delays globally and in other parts of the New Zealand supply chain, and continued labour shortages remain challenging, impacting our ability to respond to increased demand.

“The situation is exacerbated by berth capacity at the container terminal. We could take more container ships if we had the extra berth we’ve been trying to get started for the past three and a half years.”

Port of Tauranga continues to seek a resource consent for the berth extension through the Environment Court. Detailed planning and consultation began in early 2019. The Port applied unsuccessfully for consideration under the Government’s Shovel Ready Covid-19 recovery scheme in 2020 to expedite the resource consent process. No Government funding was sought for the project.

The Port was also unsuccessful in an application for Fast Track consenting in 2021. Port of Tauranga subsequently applied for direct referral to the Environment Court, which was accepted in December 2021. A delayed court hearing is proposed for early March 2023.

“It is incredibly frustrating after years of consultation and planning to be still ‘on hold’. Had we not had these delays, we would be finishing construction now,” says Ms Hoare.

“Our customers are facing the prospect of continued supply chain disruption and deteriorating service levels with little relief in sight.

“New Zealand relies heavily on international shipping and it is critical that the country expedites further capacity as soon as possible. Tauranga is the best and easiest option to achieve this quickly.”

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Leonard Sampson, says the Port’s diversity of cargoes and long-term freight agreements with key customers has given some certainty through extremely challenging times.

“Our team has really borne the brunt of the upheaval in the supply chain and I’m really proud of the way they have responded. Our service partners also deserve special thanks for their ongoing efforts and our customers deserve praise for their continued support and patience,” he says.

“We are looking forward to a longer-term solution in the form of additional capacity at the container terminal, and soon at the Ruakura Inland Port that we are developing in Hamilton in partnership with Tainui Group Holdings.”

The inland port, part of the Ruakura Superhub, is due to open in late 2022 and will connect Waikato importers and exporters with the “big ship” services calling only at Tauranga.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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