Port of Tauranga Makes Donation as Foodbank Demand Soars

Port of Tauranga is making a $25,000 donation to the Tauranga Community Foodbank in response to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the lives of Bay of Plenty residents.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said the contribution was suggested by staff, who had continued to work through the lockdown handling essential cargoes.

“At first, some of us were anxious about having to work through the lockdown and worried for the loved ones in our bubbles. However, we now realise just how privileged we are to all still have jobs and some cargoes flowing across our wharves,” said Mr Cairns.

“Many people in our region have suddenly lost their jobs, or are working reduced hours, pushing many families into vulnerable positions.

“The demand for food parcels is only likely to grow over the coming months and this is one small way we can assist our community,” he said.

Port of Tauranga has a long relationship with the Tauranga Community Foodbank, giving an annual cash donation to its Christmas appeal. Many Port staff also fundraise and collect groceries, but the food bank is currently unable to accept donated items.


For further details, contact:

Mark Cairns
Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829

Covid-19 Alert Level 3 at Port of Tauranga

Port of Tauranga has implemented extensive measures to keep safe our people, trade and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Alert Level 3, all port users are still required to use enhanced safety and hygiene practices.

Basic Hygiene

The risk of Covid-19 has diminished, but it has not gone away, so it is still important for all port users to:

  • Wash hands frequently, using soap and water and / or hand sanitiser.
  • Keep social distance from other people, including other work groups (at least two metres).
  • Disinfect surfaces, vehicles and equipment often (and always between users).
  • Keep track of close contacts in case of sickness or there is a local outbreak.
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Stay away from the port if unwell.

Safety Plans

All Port of Tauranga contractors and service providers commencing operations under Level 3 and accessing Port of Tauranga facilities are required to provide the Port with a copy of their Covid-19 Level 3 Safety Plan before commencing operations on site. Please contact our Group Health and Safety Manager, Pat Kirk, with any queries (email PatK@port-tauranga.co.nz).

Shipping / vessels

  • Vessels remain subject to the enhanced border control measures administered by government agencies.

Operational Staff

  • Interaction between work groups remains restricted for all operational staff.
  • Shared vehicles and equipment cleaned between users and direct contact with ship’s crew is to be avoided (except for those wearing the appropriate PPE).
  • Shift changes are being managed to avoid interaction.

Office-based Staff

  • Administration and other office-based Port of Tauranga staff will continue to work from home if possible.
  • Work stations on site are separated by at least two metres.

Security and Reception

  • Access through the Hull Road, Rata Street, Tasman Quay and Sulphur Point gates is via swipe card only.
  • Receptions at both the Tauranga Container Terminal and Mount Maunganui administration building are closed to unannounced visitors. Enquiries should be made via phone: (07) 572 8899.
  • We are continuing to restrict the number of drivers allowed in the Terminal R&D reception area at any one time and the use of e-gate transactions is strongly encouraged.
  • Transport operators without e-gate are required to email Carters Notes to TctR&D@port-tauranga.co.nz.
  • Drivers arriving outside their VBS window are required to wait in their vehicle.


  • Cargo movements, especially at the Mount Maunganui wharves, will increase over the next few weeks.
  • All port users must follow roadways and keep to the speed limits.

For further details, contact:

Leonard Sampson
Chief Operating Officer
Port of Tauranga Limited
07 572 8899

New Crane Moved Into Position at Port of Tauranga

Port of Tauranga’s newest and largest container crane has been moved into position.

The Port’s ninth ship-to-shore gantry crane arrived in parts from Ireland in mid-February on a special purpose delivery ship. It was assembled on site and moved several hundred metres onto the berth in a 48 hour operation successfully completed this morning.

Further testing will be undertaken now that the new crane is in position and it is expected to start work next week, just 10 weeks since it arrived.

The new crane will be able to load and unload container ships up to 49 metres or 19 containers wide, compared with the 18 container reach of the Port’s other large cranes.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the project was a great achievement by the Port of Tauranga team, Rich Rigging and crane manufacturers Liebherr. The crane was mostly assembled prior to the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown and commissioning and testing was supported remotely by engineers at the Liebherr factory in Ireland.

“The crane needs to be moved into place now to free up the construction zone for much-needed storage space for containerised cargo,” says Mark.

“It is also safer for the crane to be anchored onto the rails on the berth in case of stormy weather.”

Crane operations at the container terminal are restricted during the lockdown due to shift patterns introduced to keep port workers separated and safe. Despite the restrictions, Port of Tauranga and its service providers C3 Limited and Independent Stevedoring Limited have maintained market-leading crane productivity rates throughout the lockdown. Last week they achieved a net crane rate of 35.8 moves per hour, compared with the last reported national average of 29.1.


For further details, contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 021 865 884



Port of Tauranga Handles Record Container Exchange to Deliver Essential Cargo

Port of Tauranga yesterday completed the largest ever cargo exchange at its Tauranga Container Terminal to ensure vital supplies are delivered to those who need them.

The Sally Maersk container ship exchanged 9,367 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) over two and a half days before departing Tauranga for Kaohsiung (Taiwan) Thursday afternoon.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said the exchange “completely blitzed” the previous record exchange of just under 7,000 TEUs. At the same time, another 1,772 TEUs were exchanged on two other vessels – the Charlie B and the domestic vessel Moana Chief.

“It is an outstanding achievement by our team, Independent Stevedoring Ltd, C3 Limited and our other service providers,” says Mark.

“Everyone has pulled together to ensure that essential cargo can be delivered and the supply chain keeps moving to make room for high priority supplies during the lockdown.”

Four ship-to-shore cranes were used with operators achieving a ship rate of 97.49 moves per hour – an impressive 160% more efficient than the national average[1].

“The need to keep everyone safe by maintaining physical distances means things can take a little longer, but this great achievement demonstrates port workers’ patience, cooperation and commitment,” says Mark.

“Thanks are also due to the truck drivers and KiwiRail staff ensuring import and export cargo gets to and from the port. We also appreciate the quick processing of imported containers by border agencies Customs New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.”


For further details, contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 021 865 884


[1] https://www.transport.govt.nz/mot-resources/freight-resources/figs/port-container-handling/

Port of Tauranga Withdraws Full Year Earnings Guidance due to Covid-19 Pandemic

Port of Tauranga Limited (NZX.POT) today withdrew its earnings guidance for the year to 30 June 2020 due to the impact of Government measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Port of Tauranga is classified as an essential service and continues to operate under the Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions imposed by the Government on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. However, some of its customers are classified as non-essential services and will suspend shipping during the lockdown.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the Company remains in a strong position to weather the impact of the pandemic.

“We comfortably paid our interim dividend of $40.8 million on 20 March 2020. We have a strong balance sheet and continuing strong operating cashflows from our diversified business,” said Mr Cairns.

“Many of our major exports, including meat, dairy products and kiwifruit, are classified as essential cargoes. Imports of oil products, food and medical supplies are also essential cargoes.

“However, log and other forestry product exports will be significantly impacted as they are currently considered a non-essential cargo. This is unfortunate as we were seeing positive signs emerging in China, our major log export market. Business there had been returning to normal with log consumption recovering towards pre-Chinese New Year levels,” said Mr Cairns.

“Under the current circumstances the Port of Tauranga Board considers it prudent to suspend profit guidance for the time being.”

Mr Cairns said the Company has total committed debt facilities of $560 million, of which $57.3 million is undrawn. Only $5 million of these debt facilities mature in 2020.

“We have also secured an increase to, and extension of, our debt facilities that were maturing in January 2021. Our banking partners have been very supportive and we have experienced no issues with the routine increase and extension of these facilities,” said Mr Cairns.

Mr Cairns said Port of Tauranga’s focus is on protecting the health and safety of its people while ensuring essential cargoes flow unimpeded through the port.

“We are committed to ensuring that vital food, medical supplies and other cargoes get to those who need them,” said Mr Cairns.


For further details, contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 021 865 884



Port of Tauranga and Kotahi Extend Strategic Alliance

New Zealand’s largest containerised freight exporter, Kotahi and New Zealand’s international cargo gateway Port of Tauranga today announced an extension to their long-term volume commitment agreement.

The renewed agreement extends Kotahi’s commitment to Port of Tauranga for an additional seven years, through to mid-2031. Kotahi manages freight on behalf of more than 40 of New Zealand’s importers and exporters, including its shareholders Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the collaboration between the two companies gives the Port the confidence to invest further in expanding its container terminal.

“We look forward to continuing our highly productive relationship with Kotahi,” he says.

Kotahi’s Chief Executive, David Ross, says the collaboration with Port of Tauranga has brought significant benefits to New Zealand, including a more sustainable and resilient supply chain with efficient big ships.

“We are delighted to support Port of Tauranga’s future development programme with the commitment of cargo volume through to 2031.”

For more information, please contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph:  021 865 884


Belinda Leslie
Phone 0275 656 287

Port of Tauranga Prioritises Essential Imports During Covid-19 Lockdown

Port of Tauranga today announced new measures to prioritise urgent imported cargo during the national lockdown.

The measures allow importers to identify imported cargo required for essential services before it arrives in New Zealand so that it can be handled and transported first. The dwell charges deadline for priority cargo has been extended to provide relief to our import customers whilst ensuring cargo is collected promptly.

Non-essential imported cargo may be temporarily stored on or off-site until it can be collected by truck or transferred by rail to MetroPort Auckland. Non-essential cargoes will avoid dwell charges until 26 April 2020 (apart from one-off handling charges and power charges for refrigerated containers).​

“We take our role as an essential service very seriously and our focus is to ensure vital food, medical and other supplies can keep moving,” said Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns.

“We also understand the stresses and strains on people and organisations trying to deal with the current situation, which has seen shipping delays, cancellations and other disruptions.”

“We need the support and co-operation of importers and exports to help us manage the flow of cargo and avoid blocking the path of essential food, medicine, equipment and other supplies.”

In order to maintain vital operations, Port of Tauranga has introduced extensive measures to protect its staff and their health. They include separation of work groups, enhanced cleaning regimens and protective equipment for frontline staff such as marine pilots.

Strict border controls are in place. All international crew shore leave is prohibited and crew members must avoid close contact with port workers. A summary of the measures being taken is available on our website: http://www.port-tauranga.co.nz/our-response-to-covid-19-and-what-we-are-doing-to-keep-the-supply-chain-moving/


For further details, contact:

Rochelle Lockley
Communications Manager
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 021 865 884

Our response to COVID-19 and what we are doing to keep the supply chain moving

The Port of Tauranga provides an essential service.  Whatever happens over the next few months, we have a duty to ensure that imports and exports can keep moving.  For this reason we have implemented extensive measures to protect ourselves, trade and the community.

 As a valued partner of Port of Tauranga we want to advise you of the extra practices / protocols we have adopted:

  • Basic hygiene – covering sneezes, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, hand sanitisers to be used, safe social distancing.
  • Instructing staff not to come to work if they are ill or have had contact with ill people.
  • All shared work stations and equipment cleaned between shifts.
  • Shared facilities, such as staff rooms, toilets, showers and vehicles cleaned more frequently.  Handrails and staff rooms are being cleaned every day (in addition to the normal cleaning regime for all our facilities).
  • Separation between shifts, teams and other work groups as much as practicable to minimise unnecessary contact.
  • All service providers required to enact own internal pandemic policies.

Shipping / Vessels

  • All international vessels have had crew shore leave cancelled.  Shore leave is only available for New Zealand based vessels.
  • Vessels are pre-screened to determine if they require self-isolation. If so, Pilots will utilise PPE consisting of disposable gloves and P2 face masks.  Any crew that might come within two metres of our Pilots are also required to wear the same PPE.

The services below are critical to our operation.  We are reducing the risk by isolating teams from one another and have implemented the following extra measures within our work groups:

Pilots, Launches and Tugs

  • Staff instructed to stay to assigned tug or launch and avoid the opposite (day / night) crew.
  • Clean tugs and marine plant / equipment before each shift.
  • Visits to the administration building and interaction with administration staff to be kept to a minimum.


  • No direct contact with ship’s crew.


  • Shuttle drivers only transporting coastal vessel crew and escorting ship’s crew signing on or off.
  • Avoiding shared vehicles where possible.
  • Paper docket processes for containers leaving TCT moving online to minimise non-essential contact.
  • Access card process moving to email only, no walk-ins.


  • No direct contact with ship’s crew (garbage collection is currently under review).

Customer Service Centre

  • Eliminate contact with all other work groups.

TCT Operations

  • Wherever possible, divide staff capable from working at home into two teams to alternate in the office.


  • Perspex barrier installed at R&D counter.
  • Strongly recommend the use of e-gate transactions.
  • Restricting the number of drivers allowed in the R&D reception area at any one time.
  • Drivers outside the booked VBS window required to wait off site.

Crane / Straddle Drivers

  • Increase regularity of crew van cleaning (between shifts) and additional transport if required.
  • Cleaning products located in machinery cabs and cleaned between each driver change.
  • Controlled shift change to reduce driver to driver contact.


  • Shared facilities already exist at the north and south end of berth. These will now be dedicated to individual teams.
  • Increased regularity of crew van cleaning.
  • Controlled shift change to reduce contact.

Rail Marshalling and Reefer Operations

  • Manage shift changeovers and access to equipment to separate teams.
  • Cleaning equipment available in all hoists and hoists cleaned at each operator change.


  • Promote the wider use of e-gate to avoid non-essential contact between staff and drivers.

Administration / Staff

  • The majority of our office-based staff have the ability to work remotely however this will be increased over the coming weeks.
  • To reduce non-essential contact, as of Wednesday 18 March at 5.00pm, our administration buildings (Mount Maunganui and TCT) were locked to all visitors except through Reception. Buildings are accessible by swipe card only, in order to prevent unannounced / uncontrolled access to our buildings and people.
  • Large group meetings postponed or held via video conferencing.
  • Domestic travel restricted to critical only.
  • All international business travel has been cancelled.
  • Personal overseas travel for all staff to be avoided.  If travel is unavoidable, we are instructing staff to comply with the government regulations and self-isolate for 14 days.

Any person who has travelled overseas or re-entered NZ within the last two weeks is not permitted at any of our sites. Anyone exhibiting sign of illness will be told to leave immediately.

We will continue to communicate our response as this situation evolves.



Cruise ship to make extended stay in Tauranga

Regular cruise ship visitor Noordam will be making an extended stay in Tauranga later this week for an unprecedented visit.

It is extremely rare for a cruise ship to spend more than one night at Port of Tauranga – but there will be no passengers on board on this occasion.

The 286 metre Noordam and its crew will spend five nights in port following schedule changes.

Port of Tauranga Chief Operating Officer, Leonard Sampson, said the layover is a unique event and local businesses will benefit from having several hundred crew members staying in the Bay of Plenty.

“The vessel has been operating in the South Pacific for the whole summer and all crew on board meet health authority requirements,” he said.

All cruise and cargo ships visiting Port of Tauranga strictly follow Ministry of Health regulations regarding the health status of ​the people on board. The rules are administered by the public health unit of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

Within 24 hours of expected arrival in New Zealand, ships must declare if there is any illness on board and are not allowed to berth unless public health staff are satisfied there is no risk.

Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, ship captains must also declare whether the ship or anyone else on board has been in a Covid-19 hot spot within 14 days. In this unlikely scenario, those people would be banned from coming ashore. General information on Bay of Plenty border control measures can be found here: https://www.toiteora.govt.nz/border_health and more details about the pratique process are on the Ministry of Health website here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/border-health/maritime-border-control/requirements-vessels-receive-pratique.

In addition, Cruise Lines International Association members (including all of the cruise ships that visit Tauranga regularly) are currently denying boarding to any crew or passengers that have been in or transited through China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran or northern Italy within the past 14 days, or who have been in contact with anyone suspected or diagnosed as having Covid-19. Anyone who has been in Japan or the rest of Italy are subject to additional checks before being allowed to board.

More details are available here:


For more information, please contact:

Rochelle Lockley, Port of Tauranga
Ph 021 865 884
Email: rochellel@port-tauranga.co.nz


Container Volumes Continue to Grow at New Zealand’s International Hub Port

Profits hold steady and cargo growth still expected long-term

Port of Tauranga today announced stable profitability for the first six months of the 2020 financial year, despite total cargo volumes dipping 4.2% to just under 13.3 million tonnes.

Group Net Profit After Tax was $48.3 million, which was 1.4% lower than the same period the previous year.  Adjusting for the impact of adopting new accounting standard NZ IFRS 16 for leases, which reduced profit after tax for the period by $0.587 million, comparative earnings were 99.8% of the prior corresponding period.

Container numbers increased 3.4% to 642,209 TEUs[1] for the six months to December 2019. Transhipment, where cargo is transferred from one ship to another at Tauranga, increased 3.7%. This trend continues to consolidate Port of Tauranga’s position as New Zealand’s international hub port.

Highlights and Challenges

For the six months to 31 December 2019:

  • Group Net Profit After Tax of $48.3 million, a 1.4% decrease
  • Total trade decreased 4.2% to 13.3 million tonnes
  • Container volumes up 3.4% to 642,209 TEUs
  • Transhipment increased 3.7%
  • Subsidiary and Associate Company earnings increased 17.2%
  • Log exports down 8.4% to 3.4 million tonnes
  • Dairy exports up 6.3% to 1.2 million tonnes
  • Imports decreased 6.7% to nearly 4.7 million tonnes
  • Exports decreased 2.6% to 8.6 million tonnes
  • Interim dividend of 6 cents, the same as the previous period’s dividend.

Port of Tauranga Limited Chair, David Pilkington, said the mid-year results represented another solid financial performance from the Company as cargo volumes fluctuated.

“Total trade was down 4.2%, but we managed to increase revenue 1.2% to $154.8 million for the six months,” said Mr Pilkington.

“The longer-term outlook remains for cargo growth, particularly in containerised cargo, so our next stage of capacity expansion is already under way,” said Mr Pilkington.

Port of Tauranga has just taken delivery of its ninth container crane and will extend its container terminal wharves by up to 220 metres by converting cargo storage land to the south of the existing berths.

Future stages of expansion will be driven by cargo volume growth and will primarily involve rail-mounted electric stacking cranes and additional ship-to-shore cranes.

Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings plan to form a 50:50 joint venture to develop the Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton over the next few years. The joint venture will take a 50 year ground lease and aims to open the inland port to coincide with the completion of the nearby Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, currently scheduled for the end of 2021.

The 30 hectare Ruakura Inland Port is complemented by a 192 hectare logistics and industrial precinct. The joint venture follows the signing last year of a rail services agreement enabling Port of Tauranga cargo trains to call at the freight hub.

Port of Tauranga’s senior executives continue to work with the Ministry of Transport and other upper North Island ports on a report to Cabinet due in May. The report will examine the recommendation by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Working Group that Ports of Auckland’s cargoes be shifted to Northport in Whangarei.

Port of Tauranga has the space and transport networks available to accommodate Auckland’s vehicle imports and other bulk cargoes. The Port’s container terminal also has future capacity of up to 2.8 to 3.0 million TEUs with investment in stacking cranes and other technology.

Cargo trends

Despite the increase in containerised trade, global commodity cycles have seen exported cargo decrease 2.6% to 8.6 million tonnes[2]. The volume of imported goods handled by Port of Tauranga decreased 6.7% to nearly 4.7 million tonnes over the six month period.

Log exports were down 8.4% on the previous corresponding period, to 3.4 million tonnes, following a period of lower international prices and demand.   However, our relative market share has continued to strengthen when compared with other New Zealand ports.  Sawn timber exports decreased 3.3% in volume, pulp and paper exports increased 8.4% in volume.

Dairy product exports increased 6.3% to 1.2 million tonnes for the six month period. Frozen meat exports increased 10.8% in volume.

Imported fertilisers and dairy stock feed supplements decreased by 11.6% and 18.4% respectively. Grain imports increased 15.2% in volume. Imported oil products decreased 8.1%.

Ship visits decreased by 7.4%, from 842 to 780 for the period.

Subsidiary and Associate Company performance

Earnings from Subsidiary and Associate Companies increased 17.2%, driven by strong performances from Northport (up 9.7%) and PrimePort Timaru (up 29.2%). Quality Marshalling also performed solidly and Coda Group returned to profitability in the second quarter.

Operational developments

In addition to the expansion of the container terminal, Port of Tauranga has acquired cargo storage space at the Mount Maunganui wharves. The Port has acquired a cold store, previously occupied by Fonterra. The 2.4 hectare warehouse will be converted into dry cargo storage suitable for vehicle imports and other bulk cargoes.

As well as the new container crane, Port of Tauranga has taken delivery of the first of seven new straddle carriers, three of which are hybrid models that are expected to be 30% to 40% more fuel efficient than the current diesel-electric models.

As the Port continues its efforts to become more fuel efficient and reduce carbon emissions, it has added another three electric or hybrid vehicles to its light vehicle fleet. The Port sources biodiesel for its other operational equipment.

Shipping air pollution will be reduced by new low sulphur fuel limits introduced internationally on 1 January 2020. Ships must use compliant exhaust gas cleaning systems or use low sulphur fuel, which is now available at Port of Tauranga.

Appointment of new Commercial Manager

Port of Tauranga today announced the appointment of a new Commercial Manager. Blair Hamill, who is currently Zespri International’s Chief Global Supply Officer, will join the Company in July after 20 years with the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit.


The full impact on trade from the coronavirus outbreak is yet to be determined. We are in constant communication with our customers and the flow-on effect is likely to vary considerably by cargo.

Log exports have been hit hardest, as volumes were already impacted by lower international prices and demand since the middle of 2019. Log inventories in China have surged due to the extended Chinese New Year shutdown. There have been shipping cancellations and delays as a result and we expect this to continue into March.

Port of Tauranga continues to be well positioned to weather market fluctuations, as its customers are primarily large forest owners, who are less susceptible to commodity pricing volatility than smaller, at-wharf-gate log exporters.

The trade outlook for the second half of the 2020 financial year remains uncertain and dependent on the duration of the market shutdown in China and any slowdown in the other countries taking extreme measures to manage the coronavirus risk.

Given the market uncertainty, we are reducing our full year profit guidance from $96 – $101 million to $94 – $99 million.


For further details, contact:

Mark Cairns, Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829


Market Update – February 2020
Presentation to Analysts

[1] TEUs = twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers
[2] Total exports for the six months ended 31 December 2018 were adjusted to 8.8 million tonnes following a change to the measurement of kiwifruit exports due to increased containerisation