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Kotahi committed to South Canterbury export trade

Kotahi commits to a further export cargo volume agreement with Timaru Container Terminal (TCTL) to 2030.

Kotahi, New Zealand’s largest containerised freight manager, has committed to a further export cargo volume agreement with Timaru Container Terminal (TCTL) to 2030, to deliver confidence in stable ocean freight services for South Canterbury exporters.

Kotahi Chief Executive, David Ross, said Kotahi’s significant base load export cargo volume, of up to 30,000 TEU annually, will provide certainty to the terminal’s operations and continue to support New Zealand’s regional port network.

“The cargo agreement will enable investment in maintenance and upgrades, giving exporters confidence in the capability of TCTL for the next eight years.

“TCTL has played a key role in the resilience of the South Island’s ocean freight network, especially during the pandemic, and remains the most cost effective option for product leaving the region. We are pleased to be taking a leadership position in ensuring the ongoing resilience of New Zealand’s South Island export supply chain,” he said.

Kotahi’s arrangement, signed with TCTL owner Port of Tauranga, has committed to provide up to 180,000 TEU for the duration of the six-year agreement, commencing 1 August 2024. This agreement is an extension of the 10-year cargo volume with TCTL, which was originally signed in 2014.  

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Leonard Sampson, said the agreement was an important commitment to supporting New Zealand’s domestic shipping network and efforts to decarbonise the supply chain.

“The commitment to move 30,000 TEU per annum by ocean freight from Timaru will avoid approximately 18,000 long-haul road and rail round trips annually.

“From a carbon emissions perspective, coastal ocean freight is more efficient than rail and road, making it the more sustainable transport mode in this instance.”

“We are very pleased that Kotahi has reinforced its commitment to Timaru Container Terminal, allowing us to continue to invest in infrastructure and equipment that will benefit all mid and south Canterbury shippers. From Timaru, they will be able to access an efficient coastal feeder network connecting to mainline international services at New Zealand hub ports,” he said.

Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said the port and container terminal were important enablers for the local economy and this boost to operations will have benefits for the whole community.

“We produce a significant volume of goods that need exporting so it’s important that we have local facilities to ensure we’re closer to global markets. Major commitments such as this underpin the viability and economic sustainability of the port and the flow on effects for other businesses can be significant.

“Timaru District and wider South Canterbury can be an economic powerhouse, and the port sits at the heart of that,” he said.