dave November 23, 2016 No Comments

Centreport container terminal appears munted

A week after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand, CentrePort has resumed most operations and is focussed on minimising disruption to its customers.

Chief Executive Derek Nind says significant progress has been made across the Port and the team has worked diligently to bring essential services online in a safe and planned way.

“We have moved from a situation six days ago when we had no water, no electricity, no phone lines and no email, to the current position where we have large areas of the Port up and running. Engineering inspections were needed everywhere to make the Port safe, and they are ongoing. We had to review all operations and processes in light of the earthquake.

“Safety is our number one priority, and the reality is the seismic engineering inspections take time.

“We understand the importance of the Port to the regional economy, and are committed to resuming operations as soon as practicable.

“It’s important to note all the work carried out in the last week has been done amid continued aftershocks, adverse weather and King tides. We’re also operating in an environment where we’ve been advised there is likelihood of another major earthquake.”

Immediately after the impact of the earthquake, emergency generators were activated to protect refrigerated containers. Within 24 hours, the ferry link between Wellington and Picton was re-established. Within 48 hours the first commercial vessel unloaded cargo at the Port. And within 72 hours a rail link was reopened to begin moving cargo out of the Port.

Five navy ships supporting earthquake efforts at Kaikoura (HMNZS Te Kaha, HMNZS Endeavour, USS Sampson, HMAS Darwin and HMCS Vancouver) called at Wellington Harbour today, while a cargo ship delivered 500 cars to the Port.

Tomorrow (Monday) will see the inaugural visit of the Pacific Aria cruise ship to the Capital. Logs and more commercial ships will begin arriving later in the week.

CentrePort has implemented alternative ways of working. Some staff have been unable to work because of the earthquake, others have been deployed to different roles and we’re looking at possible employment opportunities at other ports.

There is much work to be done, particularly in our container shipping operation, which remains suspended. Potential solutions may mean the Port has to work differently in the short, medium and long term.

Damage to the Port is more extensive than during the 2013 Seddon earthquakes. Many buildings remain off limits, with staff working in back-up locations across the Port and outside the CBD.

CentrePort has welcomed the Government’s technical investigation into the performance of several modern buildings, including Statistics House, which sustained damage to the first and second floors in the North West corner of the building.

Mr Nind says he is optimistic about the future of the Port.  “We’ve come a long way since Monday, thanks to our staff, suppliers and customers, who are pulling out all the stops to reopen the Port, and Wellington, for business. I’ve said it many times over the last few days, and I’ll say it again – I’m incredibly grateful for the hard work being done.

“We’re working on options for getting containers moving through the Port, and finding alternative space for our staff. It’s going to be some time before we return to ‘normal’, but we’re already enabling much-needed economic activity in Wellington.

Wellington is open for business and we are continuing to make great progress.”

dave November 18, 2016 No Comments

Post earthquake update

Rail

  • No Rail services are operating in the South Island north of Christchurch.  Rail services south and west of Christchurch are normal.

Sea

  • All shipping lines, both domestic (Pacifica) and international, are being incredibly supportive to provide all the container slot capacity we need.

  • We are working with other parties to introduce additional vessel capacity, including northbound Chc to Trg/Akl.

  • All shipping lines are also pitching in to supply containers far in excess of the numbers normally available for domestic freight.  This comes at a huge cost to an industry that has struggled somewhat in the post GFC environment, and we are most grateful for their support at this time.

  • We are working with other parties on a longer term solution to the container supply issue, and this will most likely involve round tripping most of any additional fleet.  This carries cost that will need to be recovered but that is a conversation for another day.

  • Unfortunately Centreport’s (Wlg) container terminal has sustained a lot of damage so do not expect any containers to move to/from Wellington by sea.  Talk to us about providing a rail alternative within the North Island for containers to/from Wellington.

Service – given the extreme pressure on my team trying to keep a large amount of this country’s freight task moving, I think it is important to have a realistic expectation of the service levels that are achievable.

  • As shipping capacity fills rapidly at present, your first choice of vessel may not be available, or we may have to roll cargo to the next available vessel without consultation.

  • Door to door pick up and delivery services are under pressure in Auckland, and we expect worse to come at the Christchurch end.  We will endeavour to deliver freight in a timely manner but please expect bottlenecks and delays.

  • We will not be able to process requests for cut off extensions.

  • We can not process any last minute requests.

  • Please give us as much notice of any service requirement – at least 48 hrs but preferably plan at least a week ahead.

dave November 16, 2016 No Comments

NZTA advisory – SI routes

The following is a notification from NZTA:

Following Monday’s earthquake and the closure of State Highway 1 because of slips and damage to the highway, many operators are asking about freight vehicle access through Lewis Pass (State Highway 7).

To help with these queries, the following vehicles can travel on SH7:
•       All permitted 50MAX vehicles
•       All vehicles that are HPMV-permitted for travel on State Highway 1
•       Area overweight-permitted vehicles carrying machinery

These vehicles must travel on SH7 to Springs Junction, on SH65 to Murchison and SH6 to Nelson or turn off at Kawatiri onto SH63 to Renwick, onto SH6 and into Rapaura Road (SH62) to join SH1 to Picton at Spring Creek. Freight vehicles are asked to not travel via SH6 through Woodbourne and into Blenheim to join SH1.

The NZ Transport Agency has put in place a number of speed restrictions and restricted access to single-lane across some bridges to enable the route to be opened up to full HPMV following the earthquake and closure of SH1. It is critical that everyone observes the various traffic management restrictions in place.

With higher volumes of traffic and route restrictions on SH7, we are asking everyone to take extra care, be patient and courteous when travelling along the route, and allow extra time for their journey. Average journey times between Christchurch and Picton are currently expected to take seven and a half hours.

We are currently working on the logistics of over-dimension vehicle use of SH7 and will ensure we keep you updated with any further changes.

If you have any specific queries regarding route access, please contact the Permitting team on 0800 699 000 or email applyhpmv@nzta.govt.nz.

dave November 16, 2016 No Comments

NZTA media release

NZ Transport Agency contractors resumed work early this morning to assess the safety of key South Island state highway routes, clear slips and safely re-open roads as soon as conditions allow.

Controlled access for local residents and emergency services was restored yesterday on SH1 south from Seddon to Ward, and north from Cheviot to Goose Bay.

Transport Agency Highways Manager Neil Walker says work today will remain squarely focussed on restoring access to communities which have been cut off by damage from Monday’s quake and establishing safe and reliable alternative routes.

 “We’re back on site this morning working urgently with Kaikoura District Council contractors to open the inland road (route 70) between Culverden and Kaikoura. Crews have been working from both ends since Monday to clear slips and assess the road and structures for damage, including aerial bridge inspections being conducted by helicopter. The route is now open to all vehicles from Culverden to Waiau, and crews are doing everything possible to have the route safely open through to Kaikoura by the weekend.

“The alternative inland state highway route from Picton to Christchurch, via Murchison and the Lewis Pass has been open since late Monday afternoon. This will likely be the main state highway route from Christchurch to Picton for several months, given the amount of work which will be required to clear the large slips which have closed SH1.”

With the closure of SH1, Mr Walker says the Lewis Pass route will be carrying higher volumes of traffic, and people are urged to allow extra time for their journeys. People should allow an additional 90 minutes to two hours for the journey between Christchurch and Picton on the Lewis Pass route – average journey times between Christchurch and Picton are currently expected to take seven and a half hours. Fuel, food and toilet stops are available along the route at Culverden, Springs Junction and Murchison.

State Highway 7A, giving access to Hanmer Springs from State Highway 7, re-opened at 7am today after being closed overnight due to the risk of further rockfalls.

With continuing aftershocks contributing to the on-going risk of further slips and rockfalls in several parts of the South Island, people are urged to drive with extra caution and comply with all temporary speed restrictions.

The Transport Agency thanks all road users for being patient as many people’s travel plans are disrupted and many people are again managing their homes, work and lives amidst the aftershocks.

People can call 0800 44 44 49 for updates and the Transport Agency’s website and social media accounts will be also updated as more information is available.

Canterbury / Marlborough highway status – 5pm, 15 November 2016 [PDF, 1.8 MB] (map detailing affected routes)

•        http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic

South Island updates
•        www.facebook.com/nztasouthisland
•        twitter.com/NZTATotS (Top of the South)
•        Canterbury West Coast Twitter updates

Wellington updates
•        www.facebook.com/nztawgtn/
•        http://ow.ly/osEi306aMzO   (Twitter updates)

Rising sun, merging shipping

Japan’s container shipping heavyweights — Nippon Yusen, Mitsui OSK Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha — have announced plans to merge into the world’s sixth-largest box line.

rising-sun-merge-shippingReacting to the sector’s ongoing battle against over-capacity and the global economic downturn, the trio’s merger was driven by the aim of “becoming one … so none of us become zero”, says Nippon Yusen president Tadaaki Naito.

According to reports, the combined entity will have a fleet of 256 vessels representing a total capacity of 1.38 million TEU (about 7% of global capacity) and its combined revenue will be $US19 billion.

With all three carriers having reported losses in their interim financial results, the combined benefits of the merger have been estimated at about US$1.1 billion annually.

Due to be formed on July 1 next year and commence operations in April 2018 — pending regulatory approval — the merged entity will be owned 38% by Nippon Yusen and 31% each by the other two partners.

The development continues a wave of consolidation and or collapse in the global container shipping industry, as the sector strives to cut costs and share risk in what has been described as its “worst-ever downturn”.

dave November 2, 2016 No Comments

KiwiRail faces headwind

kiwirail-faces-headwindKiwiRail’s leadership has warned the business faces a potential dip in revenue in 2017 due to “challenging” economic headwinds, at its recent annual public meeting in Wellington.

Addresses from KiwiRail chairperson John Spencer and chief executive Peter Reidy highlight those challenges as including the decline of such cargoes as coal, excess capacity on Cook Strait and the emergence of additional competition from larger-sized trucks.

Positives were noted as a potential recovery of coal prices, an increase in passenger volumes alone on Cook Strait and strong benefits from increased forestry harvesting.

In the most recent financial year, KiwiRail exceeded one of its key Statement of Corporate Intent (SCI) targets for the first time in delivering an underlying operating surplus of $86 million (excluding $10 million in one-off restructuring and Wellington Metro tender costs). However, its comparable operating revenue declined 3.7% to $694 million and was $9 million below the SCI target.

Taking positive strides to de-risk its business and find new operational efficiencies and cost-savings, KiwiRail’s leadership emphasises that its “above rail” operation is cash positive.

Meet Port Otago’s new CEO

portotagonewceoPort Otago’s impressively-advanced leadership succession process has now concluded, with current Silver Fern Farms chief operating officer Kevin Winders confirmed as its chief executive designate.

Described as having a strong financial and strategic skill set as well as good understanding of shipping though involvement with Kotahi, Mr Winders is to join the port company in February and ultimately succeed current chief executive Geoff Plunket at the end of 2017.

Port Otago chairperson David Faulkner says the appointment culminated a three-month recruitment process, which followed Mr Plunket recently announcing he was to retire from the position he has held since 2004.
“There were a number of very strong candidates and Kevin ticked all the boxes,” says Mr Faulkner.

Also having previous roles with PGG Wrightson, Contact Energy and KPMG, Mr Winders comments: “I am looking forward to the challenge of the new role and being part of the team to deliver the Next Generation infrastructural programme.”

Describing as “an honour and a privilege” what will be about 30 years’ involvement with the port at the end of 2017, Mr Plunket says he has no plans to move onto the board.

“A new management team needs the opportunity to run the business in the way they think is appropriate and that may be different to how I’ve done it,” he says.