The first stage of improvements at Timaru Container Terminal are complete, resulting in increased capacity and efficiency.

The works commenced in July 2021 and included relocating portacom offices, new security gates and a new quarantine washpad. The AR Block has been reconstructed, including an upgrade to the stormwater system and the addition of power plugs for refrigerated containers (reefers).

In S Block, further additional reefer capacity has been added by relocating plugs and realigning the central roadway.

General Manager of terminal operators Quality Marshalling, Shayne Jenkins, says the upgrades are significant. “They have increased storage capacity for both breakbulk products and containers, with an additional 190 reefer slots now available,” he says.

The improved terminal layout will also optimise storage capacity. The next stage is to upgrade the wharves and work is already under way.

Shayne thanked PrimePort Timaru’s team for coordinating the many on-site contractors to successfully complete the projects while weather delays and Covid-19 lockdowns did their best to cause disruption.

The new sealed AR Block with additional reefer capacity and new quarantine wash:

Additional reefer storage capacity:

Portacom offices relocated:

K Block repositioned to allow five-high stacking:

We are pleased to confirm that Port of Tauranga’s subsidiary Quality Marshalling has officially taken over the operation of the Timaru Container Terminal.

The move follows exporter Kotahi’s recent exit from its 49.9% shareholding in Timaru Container Terminal Limited (TCTL). Kotahi remains committed to TCTL and will continue to ship existing volumes through the terminal. Port of Tauranga has acquired Kotahi’s shareholding and we look forward to continuing to grow TCTL with their support.

Quality Marshalling already operates key parts of Tauranga Container Terminal and so it was the logical choice to take over day-to-day operations at Timaru. Quality Marshalling’s General Manager, Shayne Jenkins, will take overall management responsibility. Shayne and Port of Tauranga’s Manager Terminal Development, Martyn McColgan, have met with key customers and partners of the terminal. Martyn has joined the TCTL Board as a Director.

Please contact Shayne if you have any questions (

Freight and logistics management company Kotahi and New Zealand’s freight gateway Port of Tauranga have struck a strategic ten-year freight alliance. This, along with a separate long-term agreement between Kotahi and Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, will deliver a ‘step-change’ for New Zealand’s $95 billion international trade sector.

Kotahi Chief Executive Chris Greenough said Kotahi is focused on helping keep New Zealand competitive on the world stage, by paving the way for the new generation of container vessels to call in New Zealand’s waters, delivering significant efficiencies for exporters and importers .

“New Zealand doesn’t have a big ship capable port and now is the right time for key players to work together to build a capability within New Zealand to receive these large vessels with all the efficiencies they will bring to New Zealand. These ships will ensure New Zealand does not become a spoke to the larger hubs across the Tasman, which would add 7-10 days to export transit times.

“We can help level the playing field for New Zealand in international markets. Increased collaboration will smooth out the peaks and troughs of our agriculture-driven export sector and drive a step change in efficiency for the Kiwi export supply chain. These larger vessels will also be a catalyst for further efficiencies in land-based transport and the better co-ordination of truck and rail movements,” Mr Greenough said.

The new arrangements are founded on the following:

• Kotahi has committed to provide up to 1.8 million TEU export cargo containers to the Port of Tauranga over the next 10 years, commencing 1 August 2014;
• Kotahi has committed significant export cargo to Timaru Container Terminal (TCTS), for the next 10 years commencing 1 August 2014;
• The Port of Tauranga has committed to investment in infrastructure to enable visits from the larger 6,500 TEU container ships within the next few years;
• Port of Tauranga will, subject to certain conditions, issue shares to Kotahi and Kotahi will take a stake in TCTS; and
• Kotahi has committed to provide up to 2.5 million TEU export cargo containers to Maersk Line for the next 10 years, commencing 1 August 2014.

“A key aspect of the agreements outlined today is the continuing support for the long term viability of New Zealand’s regional ports. Reflecting the strong growth of dairying exports from the South Canterbury region over the past three years it has been possible to resume container ship calls to the Port of Timaru while also retaining significant volumes through Port of Lyttleton and maintaining, long-term, container ship calls at a number of other regional ports,” Mr Greenough said.

“We recognise that ports play a key role in the livelihoods of local communities and believe the changes outlined today will help regional communities stay connected as we enter the era of bigger ship visits to New Zealand,” he said.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive Mark Cairns said: “The agreement with Kotahi will be immediately earnings accretive for Port of Tauranga and will transform the New Zealand supply chain.

“The cargo commitments give Port of Tauranga the certainty to proceed with the infrastructure to accommodate the 6,500 TEU ships. This will in turn spur the development of New Zealand’s coastal shipping industry as freight consolidates on Port of Tauranga as a hub port for the country.

“The agreement recognises Port of Tauranga’s long-term investment programme in freight marshalling facilities across the country including: MetroPort in Auckland and more recently PrimePort Timaru and our new freight hub in Rolleston, Christchurch. Port of Tauranga will continue to provide shippers across the country the most efficient freight options to markets thanks to these investments.

“Our ability to accommodate the next generation of large ships will also address New Zealand’s disadvantages in international export markets, including the country’s distance from major transport routes and its relatively small and dispersed freight volumes.

“We are looking forward to expanding our already highly-productive relationship with Kotahi and to increased visits from the Maersk Line fleet,” Mr Cairns said.

Kotahi and Port of Tauranga are continuing to explore and negotiate other operational efficiencies.

Maersk Line New Zealand Managing Director Gerard Morrison said: “The new long-term contract with Kotahi represents a new model of collaboration for our business and provides certainty for Maersk Line to build on our 17 year track record of providing premium services to the New Zealand market.

“Reflecting this, and due to the guaranteed freight volumes, Maersk Line has committed to introducing a new 4,500 TEU service from October 2014, to Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, to provide additional capacity, and complement, the current Northern Star and Southern Star services.

“We now have a clear path to work on the introduction of Maersk Line’s 6,500 TEU vessels to New Zealand. These ships are significantly more fuel efficient on a per-container basis and will reduce the carbon footprint of the ocean freight component of New Zealand exports by approximately 22% per container unit, compared to the existing New Zealand industry average,” Mr Morrison said.

Details of the agreements:

Volume and container commitments: Port of Tauranga will issue two million shares to Kotahi, representing 1.5% of Port of Tauranga’s issued share capital, in two tranches. Kotahi’s rights to the shares, including dividends, are subject to Kotahi delivering on certain freight volume commitments over a ten year period.

Timaru Container Terminal (TCTS): Kotahi has agreed to commit export traffic to Port of Tauranga subsidiary TCTS, which holds a 35 year lease over the 10 hectares of terminal operating area at PrimePort Timaru. In exchange for the commitment, Kotahi will get a 49.9% shareholding in TCTS. Operations at TCTS will be managed under a management contract with Port of Tauranga. As a result of this agreement between Kotahi and Port of Tauranga, TCTS plans to invest in port infrastructure including another mobile harbour crane to handle the increased container traffic.

Maersk Line: Kotahi has agreed to commit a significant volume of export cargo to Maersk Line for New Zealand coastal and South East Asia trans-shipment ports. This gives Maersk Line volume certainty to plan for the introduction of 6,500 TEU ships to New Zealand. Further information on the new services to be introduced will be provided when details are confirmed.

About Kotahi
Kotahi, New Zealand’s leading freight and logistics management company, specialises in matching freight requirements for export and import businesses with ocean, rail, and road transport providers to ensure New Zealand remains competitive in international markets.

Kotahi, a joint venture between Fonterra Co-Operative and Silver Fern Farms, launched in 2011, currently provides freight management services for more than 30 customers from sectors including meat export, wool, dairy, timber, pharmaceuticals, horticulture and seafood. Kotahi’s name means ‘standing together as one’. For more information about Kotahi please visit

Australasian advisory firm Cranleigh provided transaction structuring and financial advice to Kotahi on the freight agreement with Port of Tauranga.

About Port of Tauranga
Port of Tauranga (NZX.POT) is New Zealand’s largest port. It operates wharves at Sulphur Point and Mount Maunganui in Tauranga, MetroPort, a rail-linked inland port in South Auckland, PrimePort Timaru and is developing a new intermodal freight hub in Rolleston southwest of Christchurch.

The Port of Tauranga Group includes: Tapper Transport, New Zealand’s largest wharf cartage company; Quality Marshalling, a forestry materials handling company; Northport, which operates a deepwater commercial port at Marsden Point; MetroPack, a container packing and unpacking facility based in Auckland and Tauranga; MetroBox, a container cleaning, repair and storage facility, and New Zealand freight specialist Cubic Transport Services. For more information about Port of Tauranga please visit

About Maersk Line
Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company, serving customers all across the globe. Maersk Line has 32,000 employees across 362 offices in more than 125 countries. As a leading provider of container shipping services, it is Maersk Line’s mission to deliver second-to-none services enabling our customers to keep the promises they in turn make to their customers.

Maersk Line sources goods from anywhere in the world, creating efficiencies in our customers’ supply chains, and making it possible for commodities to reach new markets more quickly. Maersk Line is a part of the Maersk Group and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Maersk Group employs 89,000 people, and generated 47 billion US dollars in revenue in 2013.

In New Zealand, Maersk Line currently operates five 4,500 TEU vessels on the Southern Star Service and five 2,900 TEU vessels on its Northern Star service. It also operates five of the 10 vessels on the America (OC1) service sized between 3,500 and 3,700 TEU. For more information about Maersk Line please visit

New Zealand’s leading international freight gateway, Port of Tauranga, has today announced a strategic alliance with PrimePort Timaru that will herald a new era for New Zealand freight. Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said “Port of Tauranga continues to invest in becoming New Zealand’s hub port. We see opportunities to grow PrimePort Timaru as a marshalling point for South Island cargo.

For a total investment of $21.6 million, Port of Tauranga has agreed to:

• Acquire a 50% shareholding in PrimePort, excluding its investment properties;
• Lease PrimePort’s container terminal for up to 35 years;
• Acquire the container terminal operating assets and set up a new Port of Tauranga wholly owned subsidiary, Timaru Container Terminal Limited, to operate the terminal

The transaction is subject to the successful outcome of the Timaru District Council’s public consultation process.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, said “Port of Tauranga continues to invest in becoming New Zealand’s hub port. We see opportunities to grow PrimePort Timaru as a marshalling point for South Island cargo.

“The alliance with PrimePort will allow South Island exporters and importers to benefit from the large number of international services that call at Tauranga, share the significant freight savings that will come with the arrival in New Zealand of the next generation of large ships and benefit from Port of Tauranga’s container terminal expertise and world class productivity.

“Port of Tauranga has the financial strength, location and transport connections to be New Zealand’s hub port. Not only can Tauranga Container Terminal accommodate large ships, with our significant land holdings we have the potential to continue to expand at a lower cost than all other New Zealand ports.”

PrimePort Chairman, Roger Gower, said: “The alliance with Port of Tauranga positions PrimePort well for the future for the movement of both bulk and container cargoes. We expect this alliance to hasten the consolidation of freight routes in New Zealand by facilitating a more extensive schedule of coastal shipping and rail. It will allow for the redevelopment of Timaru port and the transport infrastructure in the region and the development of flexible and cost-effective routes to and from international markets for South Island exporters and importers.

“Over the last twenty years, Port of Tauranga has grown to become New Zealand’s largest and most efficient container terminal. We believe it is best placed to assist PrimePort to achieve its potential in the South Island. We are delighted with the alliance.”

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, also said: “Port of Tauranga and PrimePort share many customer relationships. PrimePort is located in the heart of one of the country’s leading primary production regions, while 75% of the South Island’s population is located within a 200 km radius of its gates.

“PrimePort is ideally positioned to tranship more South Island cargo across Port of Tauranga’s container terminal. It also has the capacity to grow. In 2008, PrimePort was handling 80,000 TEU a year. However this number has declined as shipping lines have rationalised port calls in New Zealand.

“Port of Tauranga offers greater flexibility and choice to exporters and importers with more than fifteen international services calling at Tauranga Container Terminal.

“We are looking forward to working with PrimePort to develop opportunities to ship coastally and realise the significant economic benefits that the next generation of ships offer the national economy.”

For further details, contact:

Sara Lunam Acting Chief Executive

Port of Tauranga
Tel: +64 7 572 8856
Mob: +64 21 536 444

Notes for editors:

Terms of the agreement:

• Port of Tauranga pays $21.6 million for 50% shareholding in PrimePort Timaru and the container terminal assets.

• Port of Tauranga leases the container terminal from PrimePort for an initial term of 15 years with rights of renewal taking the total term to 35 years. It is responsible for the container terminal wharf maintenance while Prime Port covers capital expenditure.

• Port of Tauranga’s purchase includes all plant associated with the container terminal including cranes, forklifts and mobile plant

• Port of Tauranga will, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the Timaru Container Terminal Limited, lease and operate the container terminal.

• Port of Tauranga is funding the acquisition from within current bank facilities.

• Completion is subject to a successful outcome from the required month-long Timaru District Council public consultation process. This will commence on 17 August 2013.

About Port of Tauranga:

Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s largest port and the country’s international freight gateway. It operates wharves at Sulphur Point and Mount Maunganui in Tauranga, as well as MetroPort, a rail-linked inland port in South Auckland. The Port of Tauranga Group includes:

• Tapper Transport Limited – New Zealand’s largest wharf cartage company and operator of a container freight station adjacent to MetroPort Auckland, which includes Priority Logistics – a Bay of Plenty based transport and freight handling operation.

• Quality Marshalling Limited – New Zealand’s second largest log marshalling and scaling company, with operations at Mount Maunganui, Northport, Murupara, Rotorua, Kaingaroa, Napier and Auckland.

• Northport Limited – a joint venture with Northland Port Corporation, operating a deep water commercial port at Marsden Point.

• MetroPack Limited – a container packing and unpacking facility based in Auckland.

• MetroBox Auckland Limited – a container cleaning, repair and storage facility at MetroPort, operated in a joint venture with KiwiRail.

• Cubic Transport Services Limited (37.5% ownership) – specialists in moving freight within New Zealand.

About PrimePort Timaru:

For more than 125 years, PrimePort Timaru has linked South Canterbury to international markets.

More than 75% of the South Island’s population lives within a 200 km radius of its gates, while its immediate freight catchment hosts the second largest dairy processing plant in the world; the largest wool scour in the Southern Hemisphere; five export meat processing plants; five export timber plants and five export fishing companies. PrimePort’s exports are mainly primary products destined for international markets, while most imports are destined to service the agricultural community.

It is currently 71.43% owned by the Timaru District Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Timaru District Council, and 28.57% owned by Port Industry Holdings Limited, a group of nine local private interests.