Press release from Northport
Northport is to purchase a $5 million mobile crane for delivery by the end of the year, giving it the ability for the first time to load dedicated container vessels. The move will give Northland businesses the opportunity to access international container vessels without having to ship freight by road to or from other North Island ports.
The Marsden Point facility will become initially a low-volume ‘feeder’ port for container traffic destined for export from North Island ports currently served by container lines.
Chief executive Jon Moore said the move would reduce freight and handling costs incurred by a wide variety of Northland exporters and importers. Businesses across the region had expressed solid support for the move and were excited by its potential.
“We estimate that Northland businesses transport cargo equivalent to about 40,000 20-foot containers each year southwards down State Highway 1, right past the road leading to our port,” Mr Moore said. “We’d like a slice of that business, for the benefit of ourselves and the wider Northland community, but to make it happen we need a crane.”
The new German-made mobile harbour crane will allow Northport to load the gearless (no ship-board cranes) container ships that will transport the containers from Marsden Point to other New Zealand ports or directly overseas. The crane can also be used to handle a wide range of bulk goods.
The port is currently in the process of increasing its existing hard-storage areas, which will then be sufficient to accommodate the anticipated container and bulk cargo volumes.
The Chairman of Northport Ltd, Sir John Goulter, said: “this is a move we have been considering for some time and a second, back-up crane may also be considered in due course.”
Northport Ltd is a 50/50 joint venture between the Port of Tauranga Ltd and Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd. It is situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour and is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port.
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