The Port of Tauranga is to set up a cargo container hub in an industrial park in Rolleston, west of Christchurch.
Port of Tauranga Ltd owns 50% of the shares in Timaru's PrimePort and has signed a conditional purchase for 15 hectares of land at the I-zone industrial park.
The port will use the land as a freight hub to receive, pack and distribute containerised cargo.
I-zone managing director Robin Hughes says the site has easy access to the Lyttelton and Timaru ports and the proposal will give exporters and importers an important additional option.
I-zone covers 180 hectares of land and is owned by the Selwyn District Council.
Selwyn mayor Kelvin Coe says the proposal has the potential to bring much more business and jobs to Canterbury and the district, in particular.