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New autoliner route direct to NZ

Automakers will have another shipping option from the United States to New Zealand and Australia when Hoeegh Autoliners begins offering a monthly direct service from the Port of Baltimore in March. 

The impetus for the new route is a new contract with a ‘Detroit three’ automaker (General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler), Shane Warren, head of the Americas region, told Automotive News.

He declined to identify the customer.

Car manufacturing in Australia ended last year when General Motors (GM) closed its Holden operations in South Australia. Toyota Motor Corp. closed its operations in neighbouring Victoria and Ford terminated production at two plants in Victoria the previous year.

Currently Hoeegh requires going through ports in Europe, where vehicles are transferred to another vessel, however the new monthly service will have faster transit times and require less handling, which minimises the potential for damage.

“Time to market is important for the customer,” Warren said.

Hoeegh’s service puts it in direct competition with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, who also offers direct ocean service to the Australia and New Zealand region from the U.S. 

The Hoeegh vessels will originate in Europe and discharge vehicles in Baltimore before being loaded with exports from the unnamed customer.

Vessels also will stop in Jacksonville, Fla., another major auto port, before heading through the Panama Canal to the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, where vehicles produced by the Detroit 3 car company also will be loaded.

The rotation will continue through the ports of Auckland, Brisbane, Port Kembla, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Höegh Autoliners

 

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Ports of Auckland a finalist for Best Seaport

Panorama of the Ports of Auckland

The Ports of Auckland has been selected as a finalist for Best Seaport in Oceania, the only New Zealand port to progress to the finals.

The port was voted into the finals of Asia Cargo News’ Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards by industry peers. A record number of votes were submitted in the competition this year. Auckland’s port won the award in 2016, beating three other Australian ports.

“It is fantastic to be chosen as one of the best seaports in the region by our industry peers for another year. Our people have been working hard for our customers, building strong relationships and ensuring we’re doing our best to deliver the utmost value for them. This is well-deserved recognition for our team” said Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson.

The majority of vehicles coming into New Zealand pass through the port, who handled 145,883 of the total 162,336 vehicles imported into the country in the last six months of 2016. Skyrocketing vehicle import numbers have resulted in a backlog of vehicles, however, with delays growing in 2017.

The Ports of Auckland is once again facing competition from three major Australian ports – Port of Brisbane, Port of Melbourne and Sydney Harbour. The awards will be held in Singapore on June 29.

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Ports of Auckland upgrading capacity

The Ports of Auckland has successfully relocated two 1,100-tonne cranes at the Fergusson Container Terminal to facilitate bigger ships and increase automation.

The two cranes will be replaced by three newer, larger cranes at the north of the terminal, where they will be able to work with larger container ships. Engineers completed the job in between customers at the terminal.

“We run a very busy terminal, so getting this job done quickly and with minimum disruption to shipping was essential,” said Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson.

The relocation of these three cranes mean containers can be processed more efficiently to cater to growing demand.

“More people in Auckland means more imports and more shipping. This work is one part of our investment in the automation of our container terminal which will meet that growing demand,” Gibson said.

“This phase of automation gives us enough capacity to handle the freight for an extra million people in Auckland – 30 to 40 years of capacity.”

This partial automation of the container terminal will allow the port to handle up to 1.7 million TEU each year, enough shipping to support an Auckland population of 2.7 million.

The Port says future technology will create additional capacity to serve a regional population of 5 million, more than three times current figures.

 

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Seeport festival

Ports of Auckland is inviting interested parties to step behind the iconic red fence and find out more about what goes on at Captain Cook wharf.

Following on from the success of the 2016 festival, where 60,000 visited the port, 2017 will be bigger and better with in-air helicopter displays, family-friendly rides, tours and day-long entertainment on and off the water – including the SeePort Sunset Symphony & Fireworks with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and special guests.

A lucky few will also be given the opportunity to experience the port from the heights of a crane and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s inshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Taupo.

The festival will kick off with an official opening at 10am on Sunday 29th January. For more information, click here.

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Surge in car numbers at port

Ports of Auckland Ltd has announced a 70 per cent increase in its half-year profit with rising productivity attracting more customers.

Unaudited net profit after tax increased to $26.4 million for the six months ending December 31 compared to $15.5m for the same period last year.

An interim dividend of $20.94m will be paid to Auckland Council Investments Ltd. This compares to $11.56m for the same period last year.

Car numbers were up 29.3 per cent to 99,710 units from 77,122 in the same period last year.

Volumes of break-bulk cargo – non-containerised, including vehicles – were up 41.9 per cent to 2.87m tonnes compared to 2.02m in the same period last year.

Total container volumes for the six-month period were up 15.1 per cent to 476,333 TEU from 413,884, full import containers were 19.9 per cent higher and full exports went up by 12.9 per cent.

Port operating costs, excluding depreciation, were up by 4.6 per cent to $56.8m as freight volumes lifted across the board, with a record number of containers handled in the six months to December 31.

“This year has started well with volumes holding up and we announced new investment – a larger tug to handle bigger ships and two straddle carriers for rising container numbers,” says Tony Gibson, chief executive officer.

“Our productivity has gradually improved since we started restructuring in 2011. As we’ve delivered more of what our customers want, they’ve rewarded us with more business. In effect, restructuring has enabled us to take advantage of an improving economy and Auckland’s growth.”

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