This year we have maintained our position as the best performing container terminal in Australasia, and we are investing infrastructure and technology which will help us maintain that position. Our crane rate, the best in the country, averaged 36.6 moves per hour over the year, 7% up on the year prior and a 38% improvement on 2011 when we began the current focus on lifting productivity. Ship and vessel rates (the speed with which we load and unload ships) have also improved and these are also around 40% higher than in 2011.
Our efficiency helps our shipping line customers by reducing the time spent in port, but the benefits are felt much more widely. Less ship time in port means fewer emissions, which helps reduce our carbon footprint and the impact on neighbouring communities. Efficiency means we make better use of our land, reducing the need for reclamation, and it makes imports cheaper and exports more competitive.
“It is estimated that Ports of Auckland facilitates over 169,000 jobs in the Auckland vicinity”
During the year we successfully implemented our new container terminal operating system (Navis N4) as part of our plan to use technology better and become a smarter port. N4 will support other smart initiatives such as using optical character recognition to read container details and to speed up handling at the terminal. The implementation of this IT project went well. We were able to maintain smooth gate operations and a high productivity of over 35 crane moves per hour while completing the go-live and subsequent major updates.
The long-standing Fergusson container terminal expansion project is in its final stages and on-track to be completed by around 2020. In October 2015 we finished a 50 metre extension of our main container wharf and started work on a new 300 metre berth along the northern face of the terminal. When completed in 2017, this will add 50% more berth space to extend our capacity to host next generation ships. Completion of the final 2.5 hectares of reclamation is underway and is expected to be complete around 2020.
Our multi-cargo operation has continued to deliver a high level of service again this year. Multi-Cargo handle a wide variety of freight and the team has to manage this in a relatively limited amount of space. We have handled record volumes of cars and other vehicles again this year but the multi-cargo team still gets cars off-port quickly, in two and a half days, on average. This is a remarkable achievement when you consider we can have more than 10,000 cars a week across the wharves.
This year has also seen the completion of the new Holcim cement terminal and cement ship unloading facilities, with the first successful shipments taking place in June. This completes the move of cement handling facilities to our Waitematā seaport and will mean the closure of Onehunga port.
It was particularly pleasing this year to gain international recognition for our improved performance and customer service. In October 2015 we were highly commended for our container terminal operations in the Lloyd’s List Asia Awards, second only to Port Singapore Authority for terminal operations in all of Asia. We were also awarded the ‘Best Seaport in Oceania’ at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards. Winning this award reflects just how good our people and operations are.
We are particularly proud of this achievement as we were judged by customers and international shipping experts.
John Lines, Managing Director of ANL, said “This award is well deserved. Our goal is to make shipping easy and reliable for our customers, and we need ports that can back us up when we need it, for example if a ship is delayed by weather. Ports of Auckland’s high productivity and ‘can do’ attitude’ have really helped us this year.”
Peter Creeden, Managing Director Finance and Operations for Hamburg Süd commented on the close working relationship between our two companies. “We work closely with Ports of Auckland to make connections between vessels and get cargo to our customers faster. Our ongoing relationship is important to us as it enables our respective operations to be more responsive and innovative and will help us both to deliver a more efficient supply chain.”
It is estimated that Ports of Auckland facilitates more than 169,000 jobs in the Auckland vicinity. By continuing to invest in technology and improving our efficiency we will be able to continue to support economic growth and job creation in Auckland and New Zealand.