Welcome to Cubic Transport Services - for a great freight experience
21st August 2018

08:00 – 17:00

Monday to Friday

L 14, 151 Queen St

Auckland 1010, NZ

0800 2 CUBIC

Port of Tauranga

New KiwiRail chair pops up on upper North Island port study group

New KiwiRail chair pops up on upper North Island port study group. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

Newly appointed KiwiRail chair Greg Miller has also been appointed to a five-member working group charged with writing a new upper North Island supply chain strategy to guide the government’s desire to integrate port, rail and road transport infrastructure planning for the country’s economic and population epicentre.

The Ministry of Transport is close to announcing the five person group, to be chaired by former Northland mayor and health board chairman Wayne Brown, which will advise on a range of major transport and infrastructure issues, including “the current and future drivers of freight and logistics demand, including the impact of technological change; a potential future location or locations for Ports of Auckland, with serious consideration to be given to Northport”; and “priorities for other transport infrastructure, across road, rail and other modes and corridors such as coastal shipping”.

A Northport redevelopment could include refurbishment and extension of rail freight services into Northland and to NorthPort, and could ultimately include moving the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Devonport base to Whangarei.

Miller’s appointment to the KiwiRail chairmanship was announced yesterday after he resigned as chief executive at Toll Holdings on Monday and was heavily backed by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters against initial objections from the Treasury and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

The state-owned rail company is therefore changing both its chair and deputy, with both Trevor Janes and Paula Rebstock respectively stepping down, and its chief executive following the announcement last month by current KiwiRail CEO Peter Reidy that he was taking up a senior role at Fletcher Building. That decision is understood to have been prompted by the planned appointment of Miller, who was CEO at KiwiRail’s predecessor, TranzRail, at the time it was sold back to the government by Toll in 2008.

Also on the working group is a former TranzRail group general manager, Noel Coom, in another sign of NZ First ministers Peters and Shane Jones’ determination to inject deeper knowledge of transport and logistics into government thinking on transport and infrastructure.

Susan Krumdieck, a professor in mechanical engineering at Canterbury University with long experience consulting for local government, government departments and community groups on transport, energy and future demand projects will also join the supply chain working group, along with Sarah Sinclair, a construction and infrastructure specialist for law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts.

Its fifth member is Shane Vuletich, who has represented the Society for the Protection of Auckland Harbours lobby group in public debate on the future of the Auckland central city port, and is managing director of the Fresh Information Company, a strategy and forecasting analysis business, with tourism, major events and infrastructure planning experience,

“A system wide review of the Upper North Island supply chain is important because about 55 percent of New Zealand’s freight originates in or is destined for, the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions,” the MoT’s explanation of the working group says, noting its recommendations could include “investment in the regions, and that the government might need to invest”.

No timetable has yet been set for outcomes from the study, the terms of reference for which were agreed last December.

Port of Tauranga outlook favourable but shares have baked in too much growth, rated ‘sell’

Sign in front of Mount Maunganui wharves, Port of Tauranga. Photo by Lynn Grieveson

Port of Tauranga is a high-quality company lauded as the most productive and efficient port in Australasia but its shares are too expensive, according to Morningstar which recommends investors sell the stock.

The port company’s shares recently traded at $5.13, a significant premium to Morningstar’s $3.80 fair value estimate. The research house has a one-star rating on the stock, which indicates the market is pricing in an excessively optimistic outlook and encourages investors to strongly consider exiting the stock. Other analysts agree, with four having a ‘sell’ rating on the stock and one a ‘strong sell’, with a median price target of $3.80, according to Reuters data.

“Port of Tauranga is a high-quality company,” Morningstar analyst Adrian Atkins said in a June 12 research note. “While the firm is in a favourable position with a virtuous outlook, the prevailing share price has baked in too much growth.”

The port is the country’s largest for cargo volume and second largest for container throughput, and Morningstar notes it runs at a cost advantage to other ports in the country due to its lower-cost non-union workforce and large-scale operations. It’s set to benefit in the future as larger international ships call at fewer ports, expected to prompt a rationalisation in New Zealand to two hub ports servicing the North Island and the South Island and increased use of rail and coastal shipping.

“The competitive advantages in New Zealand’s largest port are undoubtedly compelling,” Atkins said. “As port operations rationalise, and as the only port in New Zealand capable of accommodating larger cargo ships, we expect Port of Tauranga will continue to win share from competitors. Fortunately, it has ample land to accommodate expansion.”

Still, despite the rosy outlook for the company, Morningstar notes Port of Tauranga is trading on a “mediocre” fiscal 2018 dividend yield of 3.5 percent including special dividends, and the research house forecasts a fiscal 2019 dividend yield of 3.7 percent, falling to 3 percent in fiscal 2020 as special dividends finish.

With the shares trading on a forward price to earnings ratio of more than 37 times “significant growth is already priced in” and “overly optimistic”, Atkins said in his note titled ‘Port of Tauranga is a High-Quality Company …But Wait for a Better Price’.

Ship stopped from entering NZ waters

The ship was due to arrive in the Port of Tauranga early this morning. File photo.

A container ship has been prevented from entering New Zealand waters after several moths were found on board.

The ANL Warragul was heading to the Port of Tauranga from Sydney when the insects were discovered.

A Ministry for Primary Industries spokesperson says a number of dead and live moths have been found on board the vessel.

“We haven’t identified the moths yet, so we don’t whether they’re regulated or not. The vessel is currently outside the 12 nautical mile mark, so they’re not currently in New Zealand territorial waters.

“If the moth is found to be regulated, the vessel may not be permitted to enter New Zealand.”

According to the shipping schedule, the ANL Warragul was due to arrive in port at 5am this morning, and depart for Papeete, Tahiti at 10pm.

The Port of Tauranga directed all SunLive enquiries to MPI.

Top