Port Taranaki has been and will continue to work with customers to provide container transfer and reuse solutions specific to their needs, says chief executive Guy Roper.
Mr Roper was speaking after an announcement by Wellington’s CentrePort that it is opening a container transfer service at New Plymouth’s Smart Road.
The Port Taranaki operation is a secure, full-service container transfer and storage site, which includes heavy lifting equipment, reefer (refrigeration) connections and container upgrading facilities, ensuring containers are available for customers at all times. Its wharfside location means there are reliable and efficient road and rail links to shipping services at other ports.
“Unlike other container transfer services, we also have the advantage of having the New Zealand Customs Service and Ministry for Primary Industries on hand for our customers. In addition, we have a good working relationship with KiwiRail to ensure transport efficiency for our customers to and from the port,” Mr Roper said.
“We are a company owned by the people of Taranaki and working for the people of Taranaki, so providing service excellence and adding value to the Taranaki economy is a priority.”
He said Port Taranaki had been aware of the Smart Road development for more than a year and had discussed service options for container transfer facilities with CentrePort in March 2016.
“They elected to do this as a stand-alone development and we respect that,” Mr Roper said. “Through our work with Taranaki customers and other logistics providers in the intervening period, we have provided road and rail solutions through many routes to alternative ports, where they can connect with all international shipping lines.
“Our well-established container reuse programme supported by those lines is what customers value and the Smart Road site does not change that.”
Mr Roper said since the Kaikoura earthquake and the damage to the Wellington wharves customers had told Port Taranaki that diversification and alternative logistics solutions were essential.
“And our facility delivers this,” he said. “We will continue to offer services focused on the specific needs of each customer and will continue to investigate options to recommence a full import-export service. We have the onshore equipment and expertise to do so should the opportunity arise.”