New Zealand’s Northport is set to invest NZ$8m (US$5.5m) in infrastructure needed to support the growth of container traffic through the port, forecasting a 15% year-on-year increase container volumes for the current financial year.
In addition to purchasing new container handling equipment and a simulator module to train staff in its operation, the company will be expanding its container storage area and upgrading its lighting to enhance safety during 24-hour operations.
Jon Moore, Northport chief executive, said: “This investment demonstrates pour commitment to growing container traffic through Northport to service the trade needs of both our region and north Auckland.
“It’s a solid vote of confidence in the potential for significant and continued economic growth around our region and across the Upper North Island.”
Northport has placed orders for two new reachstackers and a new dock-truck and MAFI trailer to help enhance the port’s container handling ability.
It will start paving an extra four ha of its south-west development in October and, at a later stage, it will install six 35 m towers with LED lights.
“We’ve had to rise to unexpected challenges presented by recent unplanned and large-scale container traffic, with the bare minimum of equipment,” Moore added. “I’m hugely proud of the way our small team has adapted and used what we have to great effect.”
The investment is not linked to a possible expansion of the port and the company is continuing with the work and studies it needs to complete before lodging the Resource Consent Application for its growth plans.
Moore said: “This is equipment we need to manage the here and now. We invest in infrastructure that we know we have a need for.
“It’s the approach we took with our two mobile harbour cranes and it’s the same story with this latest tranche of investment.”