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23rd February 2018

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Earthworks underway for Ruakura inland port

Waikato-Tainui held a blessing ceremony and turned the first soil for the Ruakura inland port on 28 March (L–R): Tania Simpson (TGH director), Tukoroirangi Morgan (Te Arataura member and TGH director), Kiingi Tuheitia (with the ceremonial shovel), Chris Joblin (TGH CEO), Hemi Rau (TGH director) and Rahui Papa (Te Arataura chairman)


Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), the intergenerational investor for Waikato-Tainui, has commenced foundational earthworks for the first stage of its inland port at Ruakura.

After a number of years on the drawing board and in the planning rooms, TGH chief executive Chris Joblin says it is an exciting milestone for the overall 480 ha project on the eastern boundary of Hamilton.

“As a long-term, staged development project likely to span 20–30 years, Ruakura will deliver great benefits for the region’s exporters and importers, as well as opportunities for Waikato-Tainui people, and has the potential to support 6000–12,000 jobs within the precinct once fully built,” Mr Joblin says.

The site was blessed by Kiingi Tuheitia in a tribal ceremony attended by Waikato-Tainui leaders and tribal members on 28 March.


TGH has appointed New Zealand-owned infrastructure company Fulton Hogan as contractor to carry out the initial works covering the first 7 ha of what will eventually be a 31 ha inland port with the capacity to handle around 1 million TEUs (20 foot container equivalents) per year when fully built.

“Foundational earthworks will involve trucking crushed rock into the site to preload the area to be used for the container marshalling yard. It will take around 12 months for the ground to settle before pavement layers, a rail siding, noise wall, screen planting and services can be completed,” Mr Joblin says.

Construction of sediment control structures and widening of site entry points are also underway and are expected to be completed by the middle of May, at which point the contractors will start stripping topsoil in preparation for the importing and placement of preload material from June.


Fulton Hogan Waikato regional manager Kerry Watkins says the company is pleased to be a partner with a project of national significance. “As we move into the initial works, keeping people safe on the roads and on the site is a top priority,” Mr Watkins says.

“We take the health and safety of our people and communities very seriously. Fulton Hogan has a zero harm policy and a commitment to safe public operations. Together with TGH, we will monitor feedback to ensure safe and courteous truck operations on public roads and seek to minimise impacts on neighbours,” he says.

Extra safety measures will include temporary traffic management warning signs, and speed restrictions.


TGH is now in consultation with a range of potential customers and tenants for the inland port and adjoining logistics hub which will provide ‘port neutrality’ between Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga.

“The site will have excellent connections to the Main Trunk Line and to the new Waikato Expressway via a full diamond interchange,” Mr Joblin says.

TGH expects to appoint a world-class port operator in mid-2017 following an RFP (request for proposal) process which is currently underway, and plans to commence initial operations at the inland port in the first half of 2019.


Situated around 3 km from the Hamilton CBD, Ruakura will become New Zealand’s largest integrated logistics, commercial and lifestyle development. The core of the development is the 31 ha inland port, which is set for completion in 2020. Adjacent to the inland port will be a 60 ha logistics precinct to accommodate a range of substantial warehouse and distribution businesses.

Beyond this are proposed precincts for light industry, innovation, residential and retail activities, with around 50 ha of green space for amenity, environmental protection and recreation.

For further information, visit www.ruakura.co.nz

New cruise ship berth to be built at Lyttelton

A new $56 million cruise ship berth will be built in Lyttelton, with the plans released by the Lyttelton Port Company on 1 May being welcomed by the Christchurch City Council.

The new berth will be the first custom-built cruise ship facility for Christchurch and will be able to accommodate some of the largest cruise liners from around the world.

“The cruise ship berth represents a massive investment in the future of Christchurch and the wider region,” says Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. “Cruise ships bring a lot of life and economic activity into the city, so it is great that Christchurch will have a dedicated facility.”

With Lyttelton unable to host cruise ships for the last few years, cruise ships have been berthing in Akaroa which has put tremendous pressure on the small town’s amenities and infrastructure.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the community there that has enabled Christchurch to stay connected to the cruise industry. This announcement will bring some relief to them,” Ms Dalziel says. “I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has gone into both the cruise ship berth and the wider Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan so far.”


The cruise ship berth has been designed to accommodate cruise ships of the size of the world’s largest, the MS Oasis of the Seas. That ship is 362 m long, weighs 225,282 tonnes, and carries around 5400 passengers and 2394 crew.

A council working party was set up to investigate options for hosting cruise ships in Lyttelton and a business case was prepared to assess its public value. Christchurch City Council made the decision to fund the project through the Lyttelton Port Company, and the council will continue to receive the current level of dividend from the port company.

“This is a huge project for the city and we are happy to be able to bring cruise ships back to Lyttelton in time for the 2019–2020 cruise season,” Lyttelton Port Company board chairman Trevor Burt says. “The berth will future-proof Christchurch as a cruise destination of choice for the next few decades, with the capacity to accommodate the largest ships coming to our part of the world.”


The cruise ship industry was worth $484 million to the New Zealand economy in the 2015–2016 year and is forecast to grow to $490 million in the 2016–2017 season. Cruise New Zealand board member Tony Petrie says the cruise ship industry is continuing to develop rapidly. “We have seen a dynamic increase in the volume of guests visiting New Zealand, so it’s important that Christchurch has the facilities to offer a gateway to the Canterbury region for all ship sizes,” Mr Petrie says.

“Before the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, cruise ships were able to berth in Lyttelton, so bringing this facility back to Lyttelton by way of a custom-built cruise pier will provide an attractive arrival experience for cruise ship visitors and a boost for Canterbury’s tourism industry, as well as retail businesses in Christchurch.”

$548m for rail around New Zealand

$548m for rail around New Zealand

Budget 2017 will invest $548 million of new capital funding to maintain and upgrade New Zealand’s rail network, supporting freight movement, exporters, tourism and public transport, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

$450 million of that funding will be invested in KiwiRail over the next two financial years.

“KiwiRail has achieved significant productivity and efficiency improvements over the past two years, despite the challenges of the November 2016 earthquake and the Midland Line fire,” Mr Bridges says.

“Budget 2017 investment in New Zealand’s rail infrastructure and systems will ensure that KiwiRail can improve its resilience and reliability, while continuing to support tourism, freight and export industries.

“The Government wants to put the rail network on a longer-term sustainable footing. In the year ahead we will be conducting a wider review of KiwiRail’s operating structure and longer-term capital requirements.

“Restoring the South Island Main Trunk Line is a key priority for the Government. KiwiRail has been making excellent progress clearing slips, obstructions, and reinstating the rail track so that this essential connection can open by the end of the year,” Mr Bridges says.

“Budget 2017 will support KiwiRail by making funds available for this essential reinstatement work to continue while their insurance claim is finalised.”

The Government is also investing $98.4 million in Wellington’s metro rail network.

“This investment acknowledges the importance of a functional, safe and reliable public transport rail network in the Wellington region,” Mr Bridges says.

This funding will allow the replacement of the remaining timber poles and overhead wires that provide power for trains on the Hutt Valley, Melling and Johnsonville rail lines.

Taken together with the Government’s funding for Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL), Budget 2017 allocates nearly $1 billion towards rail infrastructure.

“The Government has invested over $4.2 billion in rail since taking office in 2008 and this further very big investment in New Zealand’s rail network will support and strengthen this important part of New Zealand’s transport system,” Mr Bridges says.

The 16 most expensive cities in the world for commuting to work – Two are in NZ!

Warning – a sense of outrage may follow reading this.

Next to housing, transportation is one of the largest recurring expenses people face. In a major metropolis, that likely means a fair amount of time packed into the subway, trolley, or bus getting a little too acquainted with your fellow city dwellers.

The good news: It’s better for the environment, and, depending on where you live, it may be cheaper than owning a car.

The bad news: It can still be really expensive.

In London, the most expensive city in the world for public transportation, you’ll need to shell out nearly $175 for a month of riding the Tube. In New York City, a monthly transit pass costs about $120.

That’s according to a recent report by Deutsche Bank, which analyzes the cost of living and compares prices among the largest cities around the world.

The report sources prices from Expatistan, a site that tracks cost-of-living expenses in over 200 countries, for a “monthly ticket public transport” in nearly 50 cities.

Here are the 16 most expensive cities in the world for commuting via public transportation each month.

All prices are in US dollars.

16. San Francisco, United States — $86.10

15. Berlin, Germany — $87.20

14. Frankfurt, Germany — $88.50

13. Stockholm, Sweden —$90.70

12. Wellington, New Zealand — $101.20

11. Chicago, United States — $102.10

10. Toronto, Canada — $102.70

9. Melbourne, Australia — $105.50

8. Zurich, Switzerland — $108.40

7. Sydney, Australia — $108.40

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands — $108.60

5. Tokyo, Japan — $110.70

4. New York City, United States — $117.70

3. Auckland, New Zealand — $122.90

2. Dublin, Ireland — $131.60

1. London, United Kingdom — $174

Coastal shipping trade still ahead in quake aftermath

Repairs to Kaikoura's road and rail links are well under way with a deadline for completion at the end of 2017.

Repairs to Kaikoura’s road and rail links are well under way with a deadline for completion at the end of 2017.
 Coastal shipping trade out of Auckland nearly doubled after the North Canterbury earthquakes in November 2016.

But the big test will come when the Kaikoura state highway and the rail line come back into operation at the end of the year.

Steve Chapman, the chief executive of coastal shipping company Pacifica, said there were weekly fluctuations but he estimated the increase had settled back to about 20 per cent to 25 per cent above pre-quake levels.

Don Braid the managing director of Mainfreight which uses all forms of transport in its freight forwarding business.

Don Braid the managing director of Mainfreight which uses all forms of transport in its freight forwarding business.
 “It’s been seven months and shipping agents have got used to the frequency of coastal shipping so I think it will remain where it is.”

“We’ve been able to put some freight on international ships travelling south,” Chapman said.

The Shipping Federation thinks the Government could be doing more to help coastal shipping. A Pacifica Shipping vessel ...

Pacifica rival, KiwiRail, was among the winners in this year’s Budget with the Government committing $450 million in capital funding, which may skew cargo movements back to rail via the interisland ferries

The commitment was critical to fund the uninsured portion of the main north line between Picton and Christchurch.

The financial effect of the earthquakes on freight forwarders may become evident when Mainfreight reports it annual result soon, against a strongly rising share price in recent weeks.

Chief executive Don Braid said Mainfreight’s mix of rail, truck and shipping was commercially sensitive.

Meanwhile, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier and Lyttelton ports are enjoying a surge in business.

Lyttelton Port’s container volumes were 15 per cent ahead in the second half of 2016 – and up 35 per cent in December 2016.

It was because freight was being sent direct via shipping from Auckland to Lyttelton after the Kaikoura railway line was knocked out, chief executive Peter Davie said.

Shipping Federation chief executive Annabel Young said the the big lesson from last year’s earthquakes was how quickly the market could move.

“Overnight the amount of freight going through Auckland almost doubled as freight forwarders looked to coastal shipping to move goods south.

“Port of Tauranga couldn’t believe it. Napier Port was also a big winner because of the effects on Wellington’s container terminal. Cargo bound for Wellington has been landing at Napier and trucked south.

“Napier has had to scale up operations in six months that they expected would take about seven years,” Young said.

Heavy reliance on trucking allowed for quick overnight movement of goods but the earthquakes forced businesses to re-prioritise fast delivery for perishables, Young said.

The Shipping Federation has reservations about the rivalry and investment each port is making.

Young said the future of maritime transport relied on feeder ships taking cargo from smaller ports to larger ports.

Dredging to allow deeper drafts is a waste of rate-payer money in most ports, she said.

“Aggregation of cargoes at inland ports is the trend. This increases the likelihood of fewer big ports servicing international routes.

“It also makes over-capitalised ports with high port charges unattractive to exporters and importers.”

A refrain from the sector, and Wellington commercial landlords, is that Wellington’s CentrePort subsidises its port operations from its property developments on reclaimed waterfront land.

The latest Shipping Federation report said one of the biggest impediments to coastal shipping is lack of government interest because it owns rail and road infrastructure.

About 15 per cent of New Zealand’s inter-regional freight is carried by sea and domestic freight volumes are forecast to more than double by 2040.

Even with massive investment in land transport this increase can’t be accommodated by road and rail alone, Young said.

It wants an integrated port policy at government level including helping out with maritime infrastructure.

“A floating dry dock is a good example of where government agencies should assist. Operators are currently using dry docks in Singapore as the closest option.

The Federation argues coastal shipping reduces heavy trucks numbers, cost of roads, congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and improves safety.

The Ministry of Transport estimates the cost of shifting a standard container door-to-door from Auckland to Christchurch by ship is $850 to $1300, compared with $2200 to $3000 by road, or $1300 – $1900 by rail, because of fuel efficiency.

 – Stuff

Uber Freight launched to level the playing field for America’s truck drivers

Uber Freight is a new service that pairs up trucking companies, including independent operators, with loads that need to be hauled from one place to another. The app looks a lot like the main Uber app, but it’s targeted towards vetted and approved drivers, who can browse for nearby available loads, see destination info, distance required and payment upfront and then tap to book.

The idea is to streamline something that used to take hours of back and forth negotiation via phone or other communication, putting it in a simple workflow with confirmation of job acceptance and rates paid within a few seconds.

Uber also notes that they’re addressing another big pain point when it comes to small trucking companies and independent drivers: payment speed. Uber Freight is committed to paying within a few days, fee-free, for every single load. When things don’t go as planned or drivers have to wait longer than expected, they pay for that too.

World Container Index Down 3.6%

The World Container Index assessed by Drewry, a composite of container freight rates on 8 major routes to/from the US, Europe and Asia, is down by 3.6% to 1500.87/40ft container [updated Thurs, 18 May 17].

Two-year spot freight rate trend for the World Container Index:

The composite index is down by 3.6% this week and up by 43% from the same period of 2016.
The average composite index of the World Container Index assessed by Drewry for the year to date is US$1,587/40ft container, $118 lower than the 5-year average of $1,705/40ft container. It is 43% higher than a year ago.

The spot rates on the Asia-Europe trade continue to tumble, and as a result, the World Container Index on Shanghai to Rotterdam declined by 3% or $58 to $1,811 for a 40ft box. Similarly, GRIs on the Transpacific trade are also losing ground, but at a slower pace.

This week, the WCI on Shanghai-Los Angeles and Shanghai-New York fell by another 9% and 3% respectively.

Source: Drewry

Wellington’s smart motorway being let down by dumb motorists

The New Zealand Transport Agency says drivers are not sticking to the speed limit on Wellington's smart motorway, on ...

The New Zealand Transport Agency says drivers are not sticking to the speed limit on Wellington’s smart motorway, on State Highway 1 from The Terrace to Johnsonville.

Wellington’s smart motorway is being let down by dumb motorists, whose speeding and poor merging habits are stifling the effectiveness of the $55 million project.

New Zealand Transport Agency data shows peak commute times on the motorway – a section of State Highway 1 between Johnsonville and the Terrace Tunnel – have improved only slightly since it was opened in July last year, while the northbound evening journey has become longer.

The motorway is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and features a computerised system which sets optimal speed limits based on predicted changes in traffic flows.

One of the major congestion points - Ngauranga Gorge where SH2 splits off to the Hutt and further north.

But NZTA highways manager Neil Walker says poor driving habits are restricting the motorway’s benefits, especially at the merge point with State Highway 2 at the bottom of the Ngauranga Gorge.

“There’s a lot of driver behaviour which could make a difference,” he said.

Traffic backed up heading north on the motorway's opening day, in July last year.

“It’s simple things like driving to the end of the merge lanes [which would help traffic flow more smoothly].”

In addition, while drivers were slowing down when they saw reduced speed limits, they were still consistently travelling about 10kmh over them, Walker said.

Speed cameras were not adjustable to the fluctuating speed limits, but that would be considered if the technology became available.

A clear run for motorists.

The average peak weekday journey time from the Ngauranga Gorge to Hobson St had improved by about 30 seconds each in both directions from July to April, compared with the previous 12 months.

The southbound morning journey was down from seven minutes to six-and-a-half minutes, and the northbound evening journey was down from six minutes to five-and-a-half minutes.

However, while the journey from Petone (at the Seaview Recycle and Transfer Station) to Hobson St was about 30 seconds faster during the morning weekday peak, the evening journey north was about two minutes longer.

That was because improved traffic flows along State Highway 1 were putting pressure on the merge point with State Highway 2, which went to Petone.

However, Walker admitted the merge point could operate better, and the agency was considering options to improve it.

Walker reiterated the motorway development was not intended to cut travel times, but to improve journey reliability and safety for the 100,000 vehicles which travelled on the road on an average weekday.

“It’s a fairly busy section of a big network, and we get congestion right along the motorway. At the moment, we’re observing what’s happening to see how people are interacting with it.”

Automobile Association road safety spokesman Dylan Thomsen said the motorway had several advantages and shortened travel times were encouraging.

“It may not look like that much but, obviously, when you multiply that over tens of thousands of vehicles, it adds up to some big numbers.

“We’re getting good benefits out of this technology, but it’s got to be widened and extended over time to look beyond just this motorway in order to know where the bottlenecks are and where the problems are.”

The standstill at the Terrace Tunnel during peak times was a specific area that needed to be addressed, Thomsen said.

Green Party transport spokeswoman Julie-Anne Genter was not convinced about the project’s benefits, saying the money should have been used to improve public transport.

“The more you improve public transport, the less pressure there is on state highways.

The investment in roading had not improved travel times in Wellington, and a dedicated bus lane or rail line could transport between 10 and 20 times more people an hour during peak time than an extra motorway lane, she said.

 – Stuff

KiwiRail swoops on opportunity to buy NZ’s largest ferry

The Kaitaki has proved itself on what can be a challenging route. (File photo)

 The Kaitaki has proved itself on what can be a challenging route.
 KiwiRail has announced its purchase of the Interislander ferry Kaitaki before its lease expires in 2020.

The Kaitaki is the largest domestic passenger ferry operating in New Zealand, and has been leased from Dublin-based Irish Ferries since 2005.

“It has proved itself on what can be a challenging route,” KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said on Wednesday.

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said there was strong competition for secondhand ferries, and it was best to snap ...

KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy

A worldwide shortage of suitable secondhand ferries, and heavy competition for those ships, meant there was no certainty it would be available after its lease expired.

“The best option was to take up the opportunity to purchase the ferry,” Reidy said.

“The Interislander fleet is the extension of SH1 across Cook Strait. Our ships are vital for tourism, and an important piece of the integrated transport network for freight, with road and rail working together to help drive New Zealand’s growth.

“Nearly 190,000 people are directly employed in the tourism sector, and ensuring visitors are able to travel between the North Island and the South Island easily makes sure that the benefits – and the jobs – are spread through the country.”

* Up to 4000 sailings a year
* Kaitaki can carry up to 1350 passengers, more than the Aratere and the Kaiarahi combined.
* Last financial year KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries carried more than 1 million net tonnes of freight
* Consisting of 83,000 commercial vehicles and 800,000 passengers

 – Stuff

DP World unveils container tracking solution

DP World, a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain, today demonstrated the most advanced container tracking solution developed by a port terminal operator, under the theme of “Where’s My Container?”, at Transport Logistic in Munich.

The enhancement to the current beta version, after feedback from a pilot release, opens the door for users to have greater visibility of their cargo and improves speed-to-shelf opportunities such as improved replenishment forecasts and better inventory allocation.

The container tracking solution represents a major step forward for customers by reducing administration and providing better data quality for their planning and logistics of getting products onto shelves. This solution will be rolled out in a phased manner and initially be made available across DP World’s UK terminals.

“This solution is a natural extension of our mission to add value for our customers and help solve their toughest challenges,” said Ganesh Raj, senior VP and MD, DP World – Europe and Russia.

“Access to visibility of containerised cargo has traditionally been time consuming and challenging; today’s enhanced tool demonstrates how this solution can help our customers plan and manage their supply chain more effectively and in real-time”.