Friday 26th February 2021
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Port of Tauranga Reports Improved Profits Despite Widespread Disruption to Cargo Volumes and Operations
Port seeks consent for an additional berth to help alleviate Upper North Island supply chain congestion
Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port and international freight gateway, today reported increased profitability for the first six months of the 2021 financial year, despite volatile cargo volumes and congestion issues being experienced at Ports of Auckland.
Group Net Profit After Tax for the six months to December 2020 was $49.4 million, a 2.3% increase on the same period the previous year, despite a 1.3% decrease in total trade volumes, to 13.1 million tonnes. Container numbers decreased 4.6% compared with the previous corresponding period, to 612,988 TEUs.
Port of Tauranga Limited Chair, David Pilkington, said the mid-year financial results were very pleasing considering the volatility in cargo volumes over the period and reflected the stability offered by the diverse companies in the group.
“We have managed to maintain income throughout a challenging six months. Port of Tauranga handled near record volumes of containers in the months of October and December. However, lower-than-previous demand from June to August, and vessel delays in November, dragged down the year-to-date container volumes,” he said.
“It’s a similar story when we look at overall cargo tonnes. Volumes decreased 1.3% for the six month period, yet volumes in December 2020 were 15.1% higher than the same month in 2019.”
Mr Pilkington said severe vessel delays out of Auckland since September had significant flow-on impacts on Port of Tauranga.
“We have done our best to accommodate diverted import and export cargoes from Auckland. However, we have had to limit our assistance as we have been constrained by the lack of availability of additional rolling stock and train drivers for the rail link between Tauranga and Auckland.”
The average cargo exchange per container vessel was 21% higher in December 2020 compared with December 2019, due to the cargo bypassing Auckland.
Late arriving vessels have been slow to pick up exports, exacerbating container yard congestion.
Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the January 1 introduction of penalties for shippers rolling cargo or leaving their containers on the wharf for excessive time has provided some relief from yard congestion. The peak export season is now in full swing.
“We need all parts of the supply chain to do their bit and we are very grateful for the cooperation of importers and exporters in improving terminal productivity. Unfortunately, the threat of congestion remains and is unlikely to dissipate until Ports of Auckland sorts out its operational problems,” said Mr Cairns.
“We accommodated a container vessel at our Mount Maunganui bulk cargo wharves in December to try and alleviate the pre-Christmas stress for retailers. New Zealand’s ability to absorb the worldwide disruption caused by Covid-19 has been severely constrained.”
Revenue increased 3% to $159.5 million due to greater income from the container terminal and strong performances from Subsidiaries and Associates, which saw a 22.3% increase in earnings.
Overall costs increased 5.2%. Net Profit After Tax increased 2.3% to $49.4 million.
During the period, Port of Tauranga completed the acquisition of Kotahi Logistics’ 50% shareholding in Timaru Container Terminal. The terminal is now being operated by Port of Tauranga’s subsidiary, Quality Marshalling.
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