Frequently Asked Questions

Please email any questions to education@port-tauranga.co.nz

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Q: How many ships visit per year?
A: 1,482 vessels called at Port of Tauranga for the year ended 30 June 2016.
Q: How much cargo moves through the Port?
A: For the year ended 30 June 2016 Port of Tauranga had 20,120,441 tonnes of cargo moved across the wharf. Included in that were 954,006 TEUs.
Q: What are the major types of cargo?
A: Forestry, kiwifruit and dairy exports account for approximately 75% of the Port’s exports throughout. More Info >>
Q: What is the largest vessel Port of Tauranga could accommodate?
A: The largest cruise ship to call to date has been the Celebrity Solstice, which is 317m.  In October 2016, the largest container ship to ever visit New Zealand waters, the 9,500 TEU Maersk Aotea  called at Port of Tauranga.  The port hosted the giant cruise ship Ovation of the Seas in its maiden voyage to New Zealand in the summer of 2016/2017.  At 348m long and more than 50m high, the vessel can accommodate nearly 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew.
Q: How many berths are there?
A: Port of Tauranga has 15 berths. More Info >>
Q: What is the maximum draught?
A: Maximum draught high water: 14.5m
Maximum draught low water: 13.2m More Info >>
Q: How many tugs does Port of Tauranga have?
A: Port of Tauranga owns three tugs – Sir Robert, Tai Pari and Tai Timu. More Info >>
Q: How much does a tug cost?
A: Approximately $8 -12 million.
Q: What is a tug used for?
A: To push and pull ships as they arrive or leave the harbour to provide for the safety of the ship, the wharf and our environment.
Q: How many staff are employed by Port of Tauranga?
A: 188 full-time permanent staff, 18 permanent part-time staff and approximately 29 casuals are employed as at 30 April 2017.
Q: Does Port of Tauranga employ stevedores and marshallers?
A: No, stevedores and marshallers are private contractors. They operate on the wharf and provide services direct to the shipping lines who call at Tauranga. Port of Tauranga is the only port in New Zealand that does not directly employ stevedores and marshallers. More Info >>
Q: How many cranes does Port of Tauranga have?
A: Port of Tauranga operates eight cranes based at Sulphur Point. More Info >>
Q: What is a reefer point and how many are there?
A: A reefer point is the power supply that a refrigerated container is plugged into. Port of Tauranga has 2,250 reefer points at Sulphur Point and 337 reefer points at Mount Maunganui.  More Info >>
Q: When was a port first established at Tauranga?
A: The first port was officially established in 1873.  The Mount Maunganui wharves were officially opened in 1954 with the Tauranga wharves completed in April 1992.  The latter were officially opened by the Governor General of the day, the Honorable Dame Catherine Tizard, on 26 April 1992.  The Tauranga Container Terminal was officially opened on 30 July 1998 by Prime Minister Rt Hon Jenny Shipley. More Info >>
Q: How do the stevedores unload cargoes such as grain, salt and fertiliser?
A: They use electronic grabs to pick up large amounts of the free flowing cargo, which is then discharged into a hopper. More Info >>
Q: What is a hopper?
A: It is a funnel like mobile structure that free flowing cargo is poured through. Trucks are positioned below the hopper for loading.
Q: How do we know how much fertiliser has been discharged?
A: Once cargoes like fertiliser are loaded into trucks, the trucks drive over our weighbridge. The weighbridge calculates the volumes of cargo that have been discharged.
Q: Do we have restrictions on vessels arriving and departing through the entrance?
A: The movement of shipping is based on the flow of water in and out of the harbour. Vessels are graded depending on size and manoeuvrability. This grade determines when a vessel can safely arrive or depart. More Info >>
Q: What is a pilot and how do they get on board an arriving vessel?
A: A pilot is a person who goes on board a vessel and guides them into or out of the Port. To be a pilot you must hold the qualification of “Master, Foreign Going”. Pilots travel out to meet the arriving vessel in a pilot launch and climb a ladder hung over the side of the arriving vessel to board.
Q: When is the Port open?
A: The Port is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More Info >>
Q: What is the average length of time a vessel stays at the Port?
A: Log vessels approximately 3 days.
Container vessels approximately 10-16 hours.
General vessels approximately 2 days.
Q: How much land does Port of Tauranga have?
A: Port of Tauranga has 113.4 hectares at Mount Maunganui and 74.7 hectares at Sulphur Point. This includes the land currently used for wharf activities and the surrounding land used by industries supporting the Port. More Info >>
Q: What is a straddle carrier and how many do Port of Tauranga own?
A: A straddle carrier is a piece of machinery that a driver uses to pick up containers and move them around the wharf.  Forty-six straddles are now operational.  The Port uses trucks and trailers to move containers between the rail area and the container yard. More Info >>
Q: How does Port of Tauranga know how deep the channel is?
A: Port of Tauranga carries out regular hydrographic echo sounding surveys of all shipping channels. This is matched with existing charts to ensure safe passage for all vessels. A designed depth is maintained by regular dredging.