Port of Tauranga Welcomes Next Stage of Port Discussions

Port of Tauranga is looking forward to participating in discussions on the future of the Upper North Island Supply supply chain.

Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said today that he hoped Port of Tauranga’s expertise in operating New Zealand’s largest and most efficient port would be helpful to the decision-making process.

“A two port solution is workable, subject to land-side infrastructure investment, and would address concerns about economic land use in Auckland,” said Mr Cairns. “We completely agree with the Government’s view that a final decision needs to be made with the benefit of robust facts and figures.”

“International experts have told us that Port of Tauranga can easily accommodate up to 2.8 million TEUs1 on our current footprint. We already have the next stage of capacity expansion under way.”

“There is also the opportunity to factor in the current and future freight handling capacity of the inland freight hubs in the Waikato, including the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton,” said Mr Cairns.

“We still have plenty of capacity on the rail connection between Tauranga and Auckland, with the ability to double the current number of trains per day. Already, about half of all our cargo is transported by rail and about 95% of our Auckland-related containers are transported by rail to and from MetroPort, our inland port in South Auckland.”

For further details, contact:
Mark Cairns, Chief Executive
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8829

1 TEUs = twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers

Port of Tauranga Chair David Pilkington Wins Prestigious Business Award

Port of Tauranga Limited’s David Pilkington has been named Chairperson of the Year in the Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards.

David joined the Port of Tauranga Board in July 2005 and has been Chair since 2013. Since then, Port of Tauranga has successfully completed its strategy to become “big ship capable” and is now by far New Zealand’s largest port. The Company’s market capitalisation has more than doubled during his tenure as Chair to more than $4.6 billion.

David’s win last night scores a hat trick for Port of Tauranga Limited at the prestigious annual awards. Mark Cairns won the accolade for Chief Executive of the Year in 2012, while Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gray, won CFO of the Year in 2017.

Mark said David’s win was well-deserved.

“I appreciate David’s steady and pragmatic leadership style, as well as his deep understanding and experience in governance,” said Mark.

“He ensures a diverse range of opinions are heard from around the board table. His foresight has helped us stay focused on our long-term goals, while remaining flexible and responsive to our operating environment,” he said.

“David has a very direct approach and does not shy away from pulling the management team into line when he sees the need.”

David was a member of Fonterra’s senior executive and has a strong background in marketing, international business and supply chain logistics. He holds directorships in Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Limited, Northport Limited and PrimePort Timaru Limited. He is also Chair of Douglas Pharmaceuticals Limited and Rangatira Limited.

For further details, contact:

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


Ngā Mātarae Scholarship 2020

The Trustees of Ngā Mātarae Charitable Trust are pleased to offer the Ngā Mātarae Scholarship Programme.

The Trust is a partnership between the Port and Tauranga Iwi with the primary purpose to promote the wellbeing of Te Awanui Tauranga Harbour.

Applicants intending to undertake study in a discipline that will benefit the wellbeing of the harbour and who are descendants of Tauranga Moana iwi (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Pūkenga) are invited to apply.

Applications closed at midday midday Friday 27 March 2020.

For full details, click on the link below:

2020 Scholarship Application and Whakappa Form

Cargo Volumes Flat at Port of Tauranga in First Quarter of Financial Year

Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s international hub port, today reported a slight decrease in cargo volumes for the first quarter of the 2020 financial year.

From 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, Port of Tauranga handled nearly 6.8 million tonnes of cargo, a 1.1% decrease on the same period last year.

Log exports dropped 5.2% in volume to just over 1.7 million tonnes, following a sharp decrease in international prices and demand in the past few months.

Dairy product exports decreased 1.7% compared with the same period last year.

However, container numbers increased overall to more than 312,000 TEUs, a 5.8% increase on the first quarter of last financial year.

Transhipments, where a container is transferred from one service to another at Tauranga, increased 9.2% to more than 92,000 TEUs.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, told the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders today that the unaudited Group Net Profit After Tax for the first quarter was $21.7 million, down 6.3% from $23.2 million in the previous corresponding period.

“Based on the first quarter’s performance, and notwithstanding any significant market changes, we expect full year earnings to be between $96 and $101 million,” said Mr Cairns. ”This is the same guidance we gave at last year’s Annual Meeting for this year’s record result.”

For more information, please contact:

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

Chair Review
Chief Executive Review

Port of Tauranga welcomes Upper North Island Supply Chain Study’s second report

Port of Tauranga today welcomed the long-awaited second report of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Study.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said a two port solution was workable, subject to land-side infrastructure development, and would address concerns about economic land use in Auckland.

Mr Cairns agreed with the working group’s observation that the economic analysis needed some refinement, as some of the cost, future capacity and cargo forecast figures were at odds with Port of Tauranga’s data.

“We haven’t discussed the assumptions with the consultants and would welcome the opportunity to do so,” he said.

“We recently engaged Netherlands-based container terminal experts TBA Group to complete a capacity development review that shows we can accommodate up to 2.8 million TEUs per annum on our current footprint.”

“The report points out that Port of Tauranga is among the world’s 10 most efficient ports. Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s busiest port, with room to grow and the next stage of capacity expansion already under way,” he said. “There is also the opportunity to factor in the current and future freight handling capacity of the inland freight hubs in the Waikato, including the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton.”

Mr Cairns said freight owners would continue to choose the most reliable and cost effective supply chain.

“The working group’s challenge is to now ensure that its preferred scenario can achieve this, given the cost of developing the necessary rail and port infrastructure to unlock Northport’s potential.”


For further information, please contact:

Rochelle Lockley, Port of Tauranga

Ph 021 865 884

Email rochellel@port-tauranga.co.nz


Port of Tauranga Announces Changes to Senior Management Team

Port of Tauranga today announced that Chief Financial Officer Steve Gray will retire in June 2020 for health reasons.

Steve has served as CFO for the past 12 years and been with the Company for 32 years.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says Steve has been instrumental in the Company’s success and he will be greatly missed.

“In Steve’s time as CFO, he has overseen outstanding returns for our shareholders. He led the team that negotiated the long-term freight agreement with Kotahi that enabled Port of Tauranga to become big ship capable and New Zealand’s largest port,” says Mark.

“He is greatly respected by the market and I am personally very grateful for his wisdom, sound judgement and great company.”

Steve was named CFO of the Year in the 2017 Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards. He will continue in governance roles on Port of Tauranga’s Associate Companies including PrimePort Timaru and Coda Group.

Recruitment for a new CFO will begin immediately.

In preparation for Steve’s retirement, Port of Tauranga’s Finance and IT Manager Simon Kebbell will take on the responsibilities of Company Secretary and join the Senior Management Team.  Simon joined the Company in 2003 and prior to this held management positions with both Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.

Port of Tauranga also announced today the appointment of Leonard Sampson to the newly-created position of Chief Operating Officer, reporting to the Chief Executive.

Leonard has been the Port’s Commercial Manager since 2013, when he joined the Company after senior roles at KiwiRail, Carter Holt Harvey and Mainfreight.

For further details, contact:

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


Standard & Poor’s Upgrades Port of Tauranga Limited’s Credit Rating to “A-/A-2” on Consolidation of Strategic Position; Outlook Stable

On 27 August 2019, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) raised their long-term issuer credit rating on Port of Tauranga Limited (POT) from “BBB+” to “A-“.  S&P have also affirmed POT’s “A-2” short-term rating.

This upgrade to POT’s long-term credit rating reflects POT has consolidated its competitive position within New Zealand on the back of strategic investments and constrained competitors.


For further details, please contact:

Steve Gray
Chief Financial Officer
Port of Tauranga Limited
Ph: 07 572 8805

Growth in Cargo Volumes Contributes to Increased Profit for Port of Tauranga Limited


Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port, today reported record cargo volumes and increased profits for the year to 30 June 2019.

Port of Tauranga continues to consolidate its position as New Zealand’s international hub port, with transhipment increasing 11.2%. The Port handled more than 26.9 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 10.2% in volume, with containerised cargo growing 4.3% to more than 1.2 million TEUs[1].

Group Net Profit After Tax passed the $100 million milestone for the first time, increasing 6.7% on last year’s profit of $94.3 million to reach $100.6 million.


  • Group Net Profit After Tax increases 6.7% to $100.6 million
  • Annual container throughput increases 4.3% to more than 1.2 million TEUs
  • Transhipment increases 11.2%, making up 32% of all container traffic
  • Log export volumes increase 12.5% to 7.1 million tonnes
  • Exports increase 11.2% to 17.1 million tonnes
  • Imports increase 8.4% to 9.8 million tonnes
  • Annual revenue increases 10.4% to $313.3 million
  • Final dividend of 7.3 cents per share bringing the full year dividend to 13.3 cents per share, a 4.7% increase on the previous year
  • A special dividend of 5.0 cents per share will also be paid, and the capital repayment programme will be extended for another four years

Port of Tauranga’s Chair, David Pilkington, said the results were evidence of Port of Tauranga’s success in becoming New Zealand’s major international hub port.

Transhipment, where containers are transferred from one service to another, has been growing significantly since 2016, when the Port completed its $350 million capacity expansion programme to accommodate bigger container ships. Transhipment now makes up 32.1% of the containers handled at Tauranga.

New Zealand shippers can access fast, big ship services that only call in Tauranga by utilising the sea links between Tauranga and Timaru, Napier, Nelson or Wellington.

Mr Pilkington says Port of Tauranga’s long-term agreements with key customers give it the assurance to plan ahead for increases in cargo growth. The Port recently renewed its ten year operating agreement with major customer Oji Fibre Solutions.

“Having the necessary infrastructure is one thing, but it is also vital to have the relationships to ensure we have the freight volume to attract the big ship services,” says Mr Pilkington.

“We have long-term agreements in place with key cargo owners such as Oji Fibre Solutions, Fonterra’s shipping supplier Kotahi Logistics and Zespri International.”

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the number of containers transferred by rail to and from Port of Tauranga’s inland freight hub, MetroPort Auckland, increased 4.3% in the year to 30 June 2019. MetroPort Auckland now stands alone as the country’s fourth largest container terminal by volume.

Port of Tauranga recently announced a partnership with Tainui Group Holdings to support the development of the Ruakura Inland Port in Hamilton, about midway between Tauranga and MetroPort Auckland.

“This will help Waikato-based importers and exporters unlock the significant efficiencies to be gained by being directly linked by rail to the big ship services calling at Tauranga,” says Mr Cairns.

Port of Tauranga also expanded its MetroPort Christchurch inland freight hub by constructing a large warehouse that is being leased by associate company Coda Group to handle Westland Milk’s dairy exports.

Mr Cairns says development of the Group’s network of ports, inland freight hubs and logistics services, ensures importers and exporters in key cargo-producing areas throughout the country can access the efficiencies offered by bigger ships.

“The availability of rail and coastal shipping to consolidate cargo at Port of Tauranga, and the efficiency of the big ship services, means we can also offer a lower carbon supply chain to our customers,” says Mr Cairns.

Financial performance

Parent EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased 12.4% to $168.6 million.

Earnings from Associate Companies decreased 27.5% after a very disappointing result from Coda Group, Port of Tauranga’s 50/50 joint venture with Kotahi. We are confident Coda will return to profitability in the next financial year. Coda’s new Chief Executive, Gerard Morrison, has embarked on an extensive change programme.

Port of Tauranga’s 100% Subsidiary Quality Marshalling had an outstanding year, with profits increasing 15.1%, and our joint venture in the South Island, PrimePort Timaru, increased its contribution by 36.6%.

Dividend policy

Port of Tauranga’s Board of Directors has declared a final dividend of 7.3 cents per share, bringing the full year’s dividend to 13.3 cents per share, a 4.7% increase on the previous year.

The last of four special dividends of 5.0 cents per share will be paid on 4 October 2019.

The Board has decided to extend the capital repayment programme from October 2020 through special dividends of 2.5 cents per share for another four years, subject to meeting certain conditions.

Cargo trends

Exports increased 11.2% to 17.1 million tonnes and imports increased 8.4% to 9.8 million tonnes for the year ended 30 June 2019.

Log exports increased 12.5% to 7.1 million tonnes. This trend is not expected to continue in the short term, with log prices declining in June following a drop in demand from China, New Zealand’s biggest log export market. We expect some impact on volumes in the coming months.

Sawn timber exports increased 5.4% in volume and, overall, forestry-related exports increased 10%.

Dairy product exports remained steady at just over 2.3 million tonnes, while imports of dairy herd food supplements and fertiliser decreased by 11.8% and 9.2% respectively.

Kiwifruit exports increased 15.2% during the period. Other primary produce sectors also performed strongly, with frozen meat exports increasing 18.8% in volume and apple exports increasing 54.3%.

Cement imports decreased 17.1% in volume and steel exports decreased 7.7%. Salt imports increased 26.8% in volume.

Oil product imports increased by almost 2% and dry chemical imports increased by almost 9%.

Ship visits decreased 3.9% to 1,678 for the year. The average size of vessels continues to increase.

Operational developments

Port of Tauranga is now planning for the next stage of growth and in response to customer demand, intends to add another container vessel berth by extending up to 385 metres to the south of the existing Sulphur Point wharves.

A ninth container crane will be delivered in January 2020.

People and safety

We continue to make progress in safety, a key focus, with a 55% reduction in Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate and a 17% reduction in Injury Severity. We had one lost-time injury during the year, involving blistered feet.


We take climate change seriously in our business and we are proud to have one of the lowest carbon emissions per tonne of cargo handled of any port in New Zealand.  We are committed to the Paris Agreement target to keep global warming well below two degrees.

Port of Tauranga has gained CEMARS (Certified Measurement and Reduction Scheme) accreditation of its carbon emissions measurement and management.

The Port has set an initial short-term goal of a 5% reduction in Scope 1 emissions per cargo tonne and is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mr Cairns says the Company will “inset” the potential cost of carbon offsets by investing in sustainability initiatives within the business.

“This year we have set aside $1 million which we are investing in more expensive battery-hybrid straddle carriers. The largest source of our emissions is from diesel-powered straddle carriers at the container terminal,” he says.

“We are also replacing light vehicles with electric or hybrid models where available, and using biodiesel where we can.  Our modern fleet of ship-to-shore gantry cranes now all have sophisticated electric motors that re-generate up to 700 kw of electricity when lowering a container onto the vessel or terminal, which can then be made available to any adjacent cranes lifting containers or fed into the reefer blocks, greatly reducing our electricity consumption,” he says.

“We favour rail transport over road because of the lower emissions and are working with our rail partners KiwiRail to reduce train-related emissions through efficiency and technology.​  We are also working with our partners Pacifica Shipping to promote greater use of coastal shipping where feasible,” he says.

The availability of rail and coastal shipping to consolidate cargo at the Port, and the efficiency of the big ship services, means Port of Tauranga is the obvious choice for customers seeking the lowest carbon supply chain. Big ships of 7,500 to 9,500 TEUs have a carbon footprint more than 31% lower than the previous average size vessels calling in New Zealand.

In addition to our response to climate change we are also placing increasing focus on the impact of our growing business on our various communities and stakeholder groups.

“We are very pleased to have secured resource consent for our stormwater network at Mount Maunganui and we have also made significant progress in dust suppression and spill prevention. We encourage the moves to require ships to utilise low sulphur fuel and note the improvement that continues to be made in minimising the release of the log fumigant Methyl Bromide to the atmosphere,” says Mark.

Upper North Island Supply Chain Review

A Government-appointed working group is reviewing the current supply chain with a view to moving significant cargo volumes from Ports of Auckland to Northport in Whangarei (50% owned by Port of Tauranga). We see a growing role for Northport in helping to alleviate the pressure on Ports of Auckland.

We have outlined to the working group the significant capacity still available at Tauranga for cargo growth and we look forward to future reports, which we hope will address well-known issues such as the need for increased investment in road and rail networks and the historic under-performance of some port companies.


Port of Tauranga is subject to external influences such as economic conditions, trade trends, technological change and the political environment. The Company continues to focus on maintaining diversity in its cargo and customer mix, giving it a range of revenue sources and ensuring it can capitalise on any new business opportunities.

Looking to the 2020 financial year, Mr Cairns says log volumes are expected to fluctuate in the coming months following the recent drop in international prices.

Port of Tauranga will provide an update on the first quarter’s trade, and earnings guidance for the full year, at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on 25 October 2019.

For further details, please contact:

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

[1] TEUs = twenty foot equivalent units, a standard measure of shipping containers

Presentation to Analysts

Port of Tauranga and Port Ruakura LP announce rail service partnership for Ruakura

Port of Tauranga and the TGH-subsidiary Port Ruakura LP today announced a long-term partnership to support the development of the planned Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive Mark Cairns (left) and Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin (right).

The agreement allows Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port, giving Waikato-based importers and exporters direct access to fast international shipping services calling at Tauranga. Tauranga is the only port call for the biggest container ships visiting New Zealand.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the planned Ruakura Inland Port offers significant cargo handling capacity and scope to meet future needs. The 480 hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses including the planned 30 hectare inland port.

“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s international hub port and the main cargo gateway for the upper North Island,” he says.

“It’s an excellent example of Port of Tauranga’s partnership approach to providing supply chain infrastructure beyond our Bay of Plenty hinterland.”

Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin welcomed the long-term partnership on behalf of Port Ruakura LP.

“This initial 30-year agreement with Port of Tauranga is a key step towards fulfilling our vision for Ruakura to unlock the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga for importers and exporters,” he says.

“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow. This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura,” he says.

The golden triangle already accounts for around half of all freight volumes in New Zealand and container volumes are forecast to grow 60% in container volumes by 2042.

Port of Tauranga’s partner KiwiRail operates up to 86 trains per week between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga, carrying up to 9,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The route currently has unused capacity and the additional service stop will improve utilisation and reduce the number of trucks on roads.

The agreement provides Port of Tauranga with priority rail slots at the Ruakura facility for an initial term of 30 years. Port Ruakura LP will provide the necessary infrastructure, including a rail siding, hardstand and cargo storage areas.

Development of the Ruakura Inland Port is scheduled to follow the completion of an adjacent Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway currently expected to be late 2021.

KiwiRail CEO Greg Miller says the Upper North Island is a key growth region for KiwiRail and New Zealand.

“This is another example of the supply chain collaborating with KiwiRail to design and deliver rail infrastructure to better connect New Zealand,” he says.

For further information please contact:
Port of Tauranga
Rochelle Lockley
+ 64 21 865 884

Tainui Group Holdings
Piet de Jong
+64 21 812 766

For high resolution images, please follow this link:

Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Cairns wins Leadership Award

Port of Tauranga’s outstanding returns to shareholders were highlighted last night when Chief Executive Mark Cairns received the prestigious Caldwell Partners Leadership Award at the 2019 INFINZ Awards.

The INFINZ (Institute of Finance Professionals) Awards recognise innovation and excellence in the financial and capital markets sector (https://www.infinz.com/Site/INFINZAwards/​).

The expert judging panel noted Port of Tauranga’s excellent productivity rates, industry-leading safety record, increasing cargo volumes and shareholder returns that have compounded by an average 20.4 per cent since Mr Cairns took the helm. The company’s market capitalisation has grown more than six-fold to $4 billion since Mr Cairns was appointed Chief Executive in 2005.

Mr Cairns said the accolade was one to be shared by the entire Port of Tauranga team.

“It recognises the extraordinary efforts of a fantastic bunch of people working at Port of Tauranga. I am proud to accept this award on their behalf and I am privileged to lead a company that has achieved so much,” he said.