Northport Invests in New Container Handling Capabilities
Northport will invest $ 8 million in the infrastructure necessary to support the growth of container traffic through the port. It purchases container handling equipment and a simulation module to train personnel in its operation, expands its container storage area and modernizes its lighting to enhance security during 24-hour operations.
The company expects a 15% year-over-year increase in container traffic volume for this fiscal year through the end of June.
It has placed orders for two new container handlers and a new MAFI dock truck and trailer. These will significantly improve the container handling capacity of the port.
It will begin paving an additional four hectares of its southwestern development in October and later install six 35m towers with LED lights – a first for the port.
âThis investment demonstrates our commitment to increasing container traffic through Northport to meet the business needs of our region and North Auckland,â said Managing Director Jon Moore. âThis is a strong vote of confidence in the potential for significant and continued economic growth in our region and the Upper North Island. “
âWe had to overcome the unexpected challenges presented by recent large-scale, unplanned container traffic, with the bare minimum of equipment. I am extremely proud of how our small team has adapted and used what we have to good effect. But we expect container traffic through Northport to continue to grow, so now is the time to expand our container handling, receiving and shipping capacity. “
Mr Moore said the investment was unrelated to a possible expansion of the port.
âIt’s a piece of equipment that we need to manage the here and now. We are investing in infrastructure that we know we need. This is the approach we have taken with our two mobile harbor cranes and it is the same story with this last tranche of investment.
The company is continuing the work and studies it must carry out before submitting the request for Consent to Resources for its growth plans. He has already posted a series of mostly draft expert reports on his âVision for Growthâ website (visionforgrowth.co.nz), with several more to come.
Northport, located at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbor, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility for large multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570 meter linear berth.
Logs, wood chips and processed timber destined for export constitute the bulk of the goods handled by the port. Recent investments in container handling equipment have seen adoption in the coastal and international container trade. Other export items include kiwi fruit, dairy products, and manufactured goods. Imports are a significant part of Northport’s business and include fertilizers, gypsum, coal and palm kernel.
The port is owned and operated by Northport Ltd, which itself is jointly and equally owned by Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and the port of Tauranga Ltd.
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