It’s been another successful year for Auckland Council-owned company Ports of Auckland.
One of the most efficient ports in Australasia, for the second year running Ports of Auckland was voted Best Seaport in Oceania by its customers and industry peers, reflecting the commitment and skill of their staff.
The company continues to make significant economic and social contributions to Auckland and New Zealand.
Strong earnings, supporting growth in Auckland
The port handled more freight of all types this year, a sign that Auckland’s economy is booming.
Container numbers were up 5%, new and used car imports were up 20% and cement is up 50% in two years, reflecting the huge amount of construction happening in the city.
As a result, the port was again able to deliver a strong dividend, $51.3 million dollars. This works out to 4.1% per cent of the average residential rates bill. In the last five years, the port has earned nearly a quarter of a billion dollars for our city, which has been used for the benefit of ratepayers.
Investing for a sustainable future
The port has adjusted its strategy over the last year, and is now focused on becoming a more sustainable operation. The company has committed to being more transparent and more engaged with the community, to provide leadership on environmental issues, and to help drive Auckland’s economy in a sustainable way.
They have set some ambitious goals, including being a zero emission port and have started to make practical steps towards this goal.
The company’s capital investments are aimed at delivering this more sustainable future, so it can continue to meet the growing freight needs of Auckland and the Upper North Island while respecting Aucklanders’ desire to protect the Waitematā harbour.
One such innovation is the partial automation of its container terminal, which is on track for completion in 2019. This project will nearly double the container terminal capacity to handle the freight needs of an Auckland population of around 2.7 million.
With future technology and innovation it is estimated that the current site could cater for an Auckland population around 5 million – without any further reclamation.
A new way of handling cars
Almost 300,000 new and used cars came through the port last year. They don’t stay on the port long – under three days on average – but they are not a good look on the waterfront.
The port is working with the car importing industry to find ways to get cars off the port faster and handle them differently. One idea is to build a car-handling building to create more capacity, hide the cars from view and free up space on other wharves for new uses.
Ports of Auckland will share their ideas for car-handling with Aucklanders later this year.
If you’d like to learn more about what Ports of Auckland does for Auckland, read their latest Annual Report.