Chairman and ceo overview
We believe this past year has been one spent strongly positioning Napier Port for the future. The building blocks are now largely in place to ensure we’re ready for the opportunities that arise from our region in this current phase of growth while consolidating our position as central New Zealand’s leading port.
The Port has invested some $34 million over the past year to help build terminal capacity and ensure we’re well placed to handle the region’s growing cargo base and the 13 international container lines calling at Napier Port.
This has included buying and installing two new mobile harbour cranes to deliver a faster and more consistent performance for our customers at our busiest times.
The terminal increased its empty container storage space by more than 50 per cent, largely through the opening of our off-port empty depot, and our capacity to store refrigerated shipping containers is also much greater thanks to the investment in specialised reefer towers.
More staff, container handling equipment and changing the way we process trucks at the container terminal gate have led to trucks being processed faster and more containers being loaded per hour.
The company has also extended its reach to attract cargo from out of the region with the opening of the Longburn Intermodal Freight Hub in Palmerston North.
While the company made significant investments, container volumes continue to grow at pace.
This year the port processed for the first time ever more than a quarter of a million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), up 16.5 per cent on last year’s record. This was achieved despite the significant loss of dairy volume due to Fonterra’s supply chain realignment. Napier Port remains the largest port in central New Zealand, the fourth-largest container terminal in the country, and is a crucial part of New Zealand’s export-led economy.
Napier Port’s success and growth is largely a reflection of the regional businesses the Port serves. This year we wanted to show just a few of the faces we are working with to help generate a better and more prosperous region. You will see a few examples of these in the pages that follow.
Against the backdrop of investment and growth, the company also improved its health and safety performance with no lost-time injuries. We are on a journey of active engagement with our staff and a continuous health and safety improvement culture to which the directors, senior management and all of our staff are committed.
Napier Port also remains focused on operating sustainably and contributing positively to the community within which we operate. This year, despite an increase in container volumes, the company’s carbon footprint reduced. An active sponsorship programme to build a better and healthier community was also maintained.
While it’s been a difficult year for some of New Zealand’s key export commodities due to tougher market conditions, particularly in China for logs, timber and pulp exports, volumes overall are set to increase in the years ahead.
With our world-class produce, the use of the latest technologies, purpose-built infrastructure and the depth of talent in our region, central New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of the global increase in consumption of food, water and fibre. How the Port will accommodate this well into the future, along with increasing ship sizes, has been a significant focus for us in recent times.
In the coming 10 years we will need to continue our commercially-focused investment programme to ensure we can continue to efficiently service our region’s exporters and importers as volumes grow and the international shipping industry continues to evolve. Both senior management and the directors are working through the options to provide us with more berthing alternatives and greater flexibility to service our customers and the region’s exporters and importers.
Thank you for your support this year and we look forward to working with you in the year ahead as we continue to cement our position as the port of choice for central New Zealand.
Chairman Garth Cowie