The Port of Auckland (POAL) in New Zealand has doubled the number of rail services between its Waitemata seaport and the Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub.
The Port Authority hope this will reduce the number of trucks coming into the port and open up more space to handle growing volumes of containers.
POAL’s general manager commercial relationships, Craig Sain, said: “This is just the beginning. With our developments in Palmerston North and Wiri, we’re on our way to making more effective and increased use of rail.”
Although the number of containers moved by rail was up 64% in 2013/14, Sain said that this was still a small percentage of the ports’ total containers and he would like to see the number grow further.
When the Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub opened in 2010, the New Zealand rail operator KiwiRail began by running four services of 23 wagons a week; over time, this number increased to eight services and now there will be sixteen a week.
The hub, which is situated around 20 miles from Waitemata port on the other side of the city of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest, the hub allows exporters and importers to avoid negotiating Auckland’s roads.
Further services may follow as, according to Sain: “there is ample capacity on the line to the port to increase services further and we will continue to work with KiwiRail to get the most out of the line”.