Skip to main content

Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port, has reported a sound full year result, despite cargo volumes decreasing in the second half of the year.

The company reported Group Net Profit After Tax of $117.1 million, a 5.2% increase on the previous year. Total cargo volumes decreased 3.6% to 24.7 million tonnes, and container volumes decreased 5.1% to 1.18 million TEUs.

Port of Tauranga Chair, Julia Hoare, said it was a year of two halves. Results in the first half of the financial year were assisted by an increase in container transhipment, as well as the return of cruise ships over the summer.

In the second half of the year, the impacts of extreme weather events were felt across the North Island. Port of Tauranga was fortunate to not sustain any damage, but transport networks were disrupted, and some cargo volumes impacted.

February’s devastating Cyclone Gabrielle caused significant damage across the forestry sector resulting in the early harvesting of some cyclone-damaged trees. As a result, log volumes remained strong throughout the year. However, we have seen a significant decrease in imported container volumes since April, said Ms. Hoare.

In March 2023, New Zealand ports reinstated proforma berthing windows following extreme congestion since late 2020. Prior to March, more than two thirds of vessels arriving at Tauranga were off schedule.

“The improvement in vessel schedule integrity is helping productivity return to normal levels,” said Ms. Hoare.

Despite the current cargo slowdown, she said Port of Tauranga continued to invest in critical infrastructure to deliver an effective supply chain for New Zealand.

Port of Tauranga expects new business opportunities from this month’s opening of the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton, a joint venture with Tainui Group Holdings.

“The new facility is a game changer for the upper North Island supply chain and unlocks efficient and lower carbon pathways to international markets for Waikato-based importers and exporters,” said Ms. Hoare.

The new inland port and Port of Tauranga’s existing facility, MetroPort Auckland, are connected by rail to the Tauranga Container Terminal.

Port of Tauranga is seeking a resource consent to construct a new vessel berth at the container terminal of up to 385 metres. The new berth would convert existing cargo storage land, accommodating the continuing trend to bigger container vessels. All of the proposed development is within the current operational port footprint.

The company’s resource consent application was heard in the Environment Court in March and a decision is pending.

The extension is considered critical to the New Zealand economy. Without it, importers and exporters are expected to face capacity constraints within a few years.

“This project is an essential piece of national infrastructure. The catastrophic weather events of 2023 have demonstrated that New Zealand is in need of greater resilience and capacity in the national supply chain,” said Ms. Hoare.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Leonard Sampson, said the Port’s diversity of cargoes and long-term freight agreements with key customers had once again helped the company to remain resilient in the challenging economic conditions.

“There’s no doubt that we’re seeing both a reduction in imported volumes and a slower global economy. However, key export commodity volumes remained strong over the past 12 months, with the slowdown in import container volumes providing some breathing space after an erratic couple of years,” said Sampson.

Meanwhile, the Port has taken delivery of a new pilot launch, the Troy Evans, and has four new hybrid straddle carriers on order for delivery late in 2023. A new container crane will arrive in January 2024 to replace the oldest crane in the fleet, which has been decommissioned over the past few months.


Glenn Baker

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


Dishing up export possibilities

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

What’s mine is not yours

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

25 countries… and counting

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012