7 Dec 2011

Tauranga Port raises container volumes forecast

6:32 pm on 7 December 2011

The Port of Tauranga expects its container volumes to rise even further than forecast this year, thanks to gaining a weekly shipping service from its main rival, Ports of Auckland.

International shipping line Maersk announced on Tuesday its weekly Southern Star service will now call at Tauranga instead of Auckland, largely because of industrial unrest in Auckland.

In late October, Port of Tauranga was forecasting container volumes to grow by a fifth in the 2011/12 financial year, but now its chief executive Mark Cairns is predicting the growth will be closer to 25%.

He says there will be an earnings increase as well but the exact figure depends on the import/export split in that trade and rail costs and a firmer figure should be available in a few months time.

Shares in Port of Tauranga have risen for a second day in a row in response to the news.

They gained 18 cents on Wednesday to close at $10.25.