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Aucklanders recently got a glimpse of the future at Ports of Auckland when three container vessels berthed at the Fergusson Container Terminal for the first time ever.

The Gottfried Schulte became the first container ship to berth at the new Fergusson North Wharf, which is not yet operational, while two other vessels were serviced at the main wharf.

Fergusson North will eventually be Ports of Auckland’s premium berth, with the deepest water and largest cranes, capable of handling ships of up to 11,000 TEU (1 TEU = 1 twenty foot container).

The new cranes, which were delivered in October 2018, are currently being commissioned. During the next few months a number of container ships will call at the berth as part of the testing and commissioning of the cranes’ systems. This will be followed by trial unloading operations and Fergusson North Wharf will be fully operational after the first stage of Ports of Auckland’s automation goes live in early 2020.

Ports of Auckland’s General Manager Commercial Relationships Craig Sain said: “This project is part of our 30-year master plan, which is designed to keep up with Auckland’s rapidly growing freight needs. Our two existing container berths are often both full and there is strong demand for a third berth. The new berth, our high-productivity cranes and container terminal automation will significantly increase our capacity and be a great benefit to importers, exporters and shippers.

Completion of Fergusson North Wharf is one of the final stages of Auckland’s container terminal expansion project, which was granted resource consent in 1998. The project included 10 hectares of reclamation to create additional terminal space, and this is expected to be fully complete by the end of 2020. After this, Ports of Auckland has made a commitment that there will be no more reclamation in the Waitematā Harbour.

Glenn Baker

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


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