The NZ Shippers’ Council considers that any decision to close the current Ports of Auckland and move its operations elsewhere is a major decision that needs to be considered very carefully. A robust business case should underpin any change or development, not a political whim.
The port plays a critical role in terms of both imports and exports. Its location in the centre of Auckland creates great efficiency gains – particularly for imports. In recent years numerous studies have been undertaken – all of which confirm this important role. It would be unwise to ignore the findings of those studies.
New Zealand Shippers’ Council members require ports that are reliable and efficient so that we can get our goods to market in a timely fashion. Development and management of the entire freight corridor in and out of ports is of critical importance. These economic considerations need to be front and centre in any discussion about the future of any New Zealand port. Any decision that ignores these considerations would be extremely detrimental for shippers.
Decisions in respect of the future of Ports of Auckland affect the entire freight supply chain. It follows that the focus of the UNISC study should be on what is best for NZ Inc, which from our perspective means delivering the best option for shippers to get their cargoes in and out of the county as competitively as possible and at the lowest environmental cost.
We keenly await more details on the impact of freight movement to and from Northport, including projected costs associated with significant lengthening of the logistics and supply chain.