27 May 2003
Tranz Rail and Port of Tauranga today announced they have signed a contract that will extend the present operations of the port's METROPORT operation in South Auckland through until May 2013.
New Zealand's first inland port, METROPORT, opened for business in June 1999. The initial operating agreement between Tranz Rail and the Port of Tauranga covering METROPORT's operations had been scheduled to expire in June next year. Port of Tauranga's chief executive, Jon Mayson, says the new contract reflects the success of the business partnership between the port and Tranz Rail that has seen METROPORT become a highly successful and fast growing operation.
"Our inland port at METROPORT means we can provide an extremely effective import and export service to the rapidly expanding Auckland region. "It allows us to aggregate freight away from busy port areas and have Tranz Rail transport it by rail to meet specific calls at the port.
"In partnership with Tranz Rail we are able to offer a highly efficient and timely service, the effectiveness of which was most recently endorsed by the Mediterranean Shipping Company's electing to make Tauranga the only North Island call for their new service to Europe and the Mediterranean.
"As well as providing our shippers with cost-effective access to the Auckland market, METROPORT's operation allows us to reduce congestion within our main Tauranga terminal and on local and national roads within Auckland, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty areas.
It's certainly a win-win for both parties, our customers, and the community as well." Mr Mayson says the long-term nature of the contract between the port and Tranz Rail will enable both parties to invest in confidence in a range of activities that will make the METROPORT operation even more efficient.
"This agreement provides long-term surety for both parties, which means that investment decisions and planning can be done on the basis of the stable platform that the renewed contract provides."
Group General Manager Rail Services Noel Coom says the extension of the contract is a direct result of the excellent, on-time, customer-focused service that Tranz Rail has been able to provide the Port of Tauranga.
"METROPORT was the first inland terminal of its kind established in New Zealand and has grown rapidly since it opened. "The extension of the contract will result in new site developments and we expect work on this to start within six months.
"The commitment by Port of Tauranga means there is now a stronger basis for new investment at the METROPORT site and it will also provide surety for the port's shipping line customers."
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