Timaru port boss takes a crack at Fonterra
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 8:29p.m.
Timaru has lost its container port thanks to Government subsidies for its KiwiRail business and dairy cooperative Fonterra's decision to bypass Timaru in favour of Port of Lyttelton, says the port boss Jeremy Boys.
Mr Boys said the decision by global container lines Maersk and Hamburg Sud to stop calling at Timaru stemmed from Fonterra's decision three years ago to "overturn the prevailing logic to bring ships to the cargo" and send most of its South Island product to Lyttelton.
It had chosen to rail product from major dairy processing plants at Edendale, in Southland and Clandeboye, south of Timaru, to Christchurch's container port, using a KiwiRail service "enabled by Government's investment in rail without requiring a full return", he said today.
"Whether we agree on these points, PrimePort [Port of Timaru] will now be at the forefront of change."
KiwiRail was repurchased from its Australian owner Toll Holdings, by the Helen Clark Labour-led Government, and is now the subject of a major capital reinvestment programme, funded in part by the partial sale of state-owned energy companies.
The rail company was revealed today to be considering axing 220 jobs as part of initiatives to make the business commercially competitive.
The Government wrote down the value of KiwiRail's land and network from $13.4 billion to $6.7 billion last month.
The combined Maersk and Hamburg Sud OC1/Trident service will now steam direct to Napier from Otago, the change taking effect in mid-September.
Mr Boys confirmed it will mean the loss of a container Port in the South Island.
"This is the only container service into Timaru and although the port is at the epicentre of the South Island's trade with perhaps the most direct logistics, it is difficult to see that the container business can continue or be put into a holding scenario without ships calling," he said.
"The outcome does not impede PrimePort's clear direction as a breakbulk port."
The port company employs 55 permanent and 30 casual staff and "many will be impacted".
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
11/07/2012 8:36:41 a.m.
Ports like any other business need to be competitive. If anything, smaller need to be even more competitive than bigger.Take the lead from Tauranga, they too had regular striking union members, but since the union started working with the port, the productivity has skyrocketed so Tauranga now exports more containers than Auckland, and in relatively few years.Which port does Timaru model itself after? Ports of Auckland and sociable hours causing lost trade from costs to its clients? Or Tauranga which provides much better service/costs, hence the growth and better productivity?Maybe what the port needs is to pull its head out the sand, get in the real world, raise its productivity, improve its service, and with will come trade and volume.Of course the union is likely to take industrial action to cause further job losses - the standard union action to everything.
11/07/2012 7:03:56 a.m.
rubbish, this stems from the fact the port refused to compete with contracts and just kept putting the costs up and up, in part due to the unions
Mighty River Power shares have been floating around the $2.5...
There is encouraging news for the tourism industry today as ...
John Banks is calling for an inquiry into Zespri, after a Ch...
Around a dozen protesters picketed in front of a Wellington ...
Nathan Guy has reiterated his belief that NZ meat has been s...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.