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Ports of Auckland hubbing trend continues

NZPA

Thursday 25th August 2011

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Ports of Auckland said the trend in recent years towards greater hubbing and trans-shipment of cargo through its facilities is continuing.

The council-owned port reported a normalised profit of $24.9 million for the year to June 30, up 2.1 percent from the $24.4 million reported last year. Earnings before interest and tax rose 5.3 percent and revenue rose 7 percent.

Chief executive Tony Gibson said the consolidation of lines services into vessel sharing arrangements, was providing better connectivity between services and this was a key driver in the trend to ship through hub ports.

Container volumes rose 3.1 percent to a new record high of 894,383 twenty-foot equivalent units.

Gibson said container volumes would have been higher had a number of out-of-window ships not bypassed Auckland due to scheduling clashes.

Total ship calls finished the year 13 higher than the prior year.

"The mix was quite different, with 17 additional passenger vessels, 14 additional calls to multi-cargo and Onehunga, and a reduction of 18 calls to the container terminals despite overall container volumes increasing," Gibson said.

The cruise business continued to go from strength to strength with 79 calls over the financial year and a record high of 97 booked for the upcoming 2011/12 season, with extra business generated by the rugby World Cup in September.

Gibson said the cruise handling facilities at Princes Wharf were operating near capacity with more than 200,000 cruise passengers and nearly 65,000 crew members expected over the next season.

He said the port had increased the proportion of containers being twin-lifted and had recruited additional straddle drivers and lashers. The demolition of the SeaPack shed and expansion of the Fergusson empty container depot had also improve crane rates.

Transport of containers via rail increased by 9 percent over last year and 15 percent of total land-side moves are now by rail.



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