Ships line up at Port of Tauranga

Friday 23 Jul 2021

A week or so ago we reported on the situation at EastPort where the largest build-up of ships at anchor were lined up off Gisborne since World War 1 when coastal shipping was at its peak. At the time it was expected to take about a month or so to clear the backlog of ships.

Move South and a similar situation is now playing out. This time at the Port of Tauranga. Continuing issues in the international supply chain and reduced capacity in Auckland is causing a build-up of marine cargo traffic waiting to enter the Port of Tauranga. Peak export timings for kiwifruit and a high demand for logging exports has also been attributed as a factor behind the issues.

At least 17 ships were at anchor in Tauranga harbour on Wednesday morning, according to Shipfinder. A spokesperson for the Port of Tauranga said the anchored ships are mostly log and container vessels. They say the stationary status of these vessels is a “symptom” of the current and ongoing disruption in the international supply chain.

“A lot of ships are arriving outside of their scheduled times, so we are processing them as they arrive,” Port of Tauranga communications manager Rochelle Lockley said. “There is also still congestion and reduced capacity at Ports of Auckland, so we are handling large volumes of diverted import and export cargo.”

The global supply chain remains problematic due to varying factors, including Covid-19 and the running impact of the EverGiven container ship running aground and blocking the Suez Canal in March. The Port said it has increased their train programme to avoid delays on land. “On top of this, we are in peak kiwifruit export season and there is high international demand for New Zealand’s export logs.

Source: Stuff

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