The Port of Auckland has announced steady growth in both container volumes and net profit for the six months ending 31December.
The half-year figures revealed that container volumes increased by 3% to 490,723 teu from 476,349 teu while net profit after tax rose to NZ$28.9m (US$25.4) from NZ$26.4m (US$23.2) over the same period in 2013.
A statement from the New Zealand-based port explained that the container volume growth occurred despite an expectation that volumes would fall due to “the loss of a significant service and given the impact from congestion at overseas ports”.
The port is now embarking on a strategic capital investment programme to deal with expectations of higher freight volumes, resulting from growth in Auckland’s economy and population.
Fergusson container wharf is being extended to cater for longer ships while a new truck facility has been built to speed up container handling.
Rail services to the inland port at Wiri have quadrupled, resulting in 3000 fewer truck movements a month to and from the terminal.
The port is also making significant investments in rail and the off-port supply chain – at Wiri and Longburn intermodal freight hubs.
Following pressure from more freight and longer ships, two berths at the Bledisloe Multi-Purpose Terminal will be extended, with construction starting in April and scheduled to finish by late 2016.
Ports of Auckland CEO, Tony Gibson, said: “The work we have done to improve productivity will be complemented by these new investments and they will enhance our capacity and enable us to cater for increased demand as it eventuates.”