In February 2011 the Ministry of Transport agreed with port companies to produce a study on the productivity of container operations at New Zealand ports.

With data from participating ports, the Ministry produced a report on container productivity performance in New Zealand. The report, and the ongoing data on container productivity, provide a useful basis for further work about port productivity in New Zealand.

This page contains information about the study, a summary of the report produced, and acknowledgements.

About the container productivity study

Ports play a crucial role in the movement of freight into, out of and through out New Zealand. Merchandise exports are 21 percent of New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product. The vast majority of these exports, 99.6 percent (over 31 million tonnes) pass through our ports, as well as 99.5 percent of imports (some 19 million tonnes).

As highlighted in Connecting New Zealand released in August 2011, part of the government’s priorities in maritime transport are focusing on port productivity, and improving public information about the performance of maritime and freight transport.

Given the lack of hard information about port productivity at New Zealand ports, in February 2011 the Ministry of Transport agreed with port companies to produce a study on the productivity of container operations at New Zealand ports. Six ports participated in this exercise – Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, CentrePort Wellington, Lyttelton and Otago. These ports handle over 90 percent of container volumes through New Zealand ports.

With data from these ports, the Ministry produced a report on container productivity performance in New Zealand. The report sets out the background to the study, the approach used, an explanation of performance measures involved, the results at the six ports, comparisons with Australian ports, some comparisons with other international ports, and a glossary explaining some of the terminology involved.

Download the Ministry’s report on container productivity (PDF, 3.5mb)

A brief summary of the report is as follows.

Summary of results

New Zealand ports had differing results in 2009 and 2010, reflecting the differing situations at each port. Port of Tauranga performed well for crane, ship and vessel rates, while Auckland and Otago had vessel rates comparable with Tauranga. The trends over the last two calendar years show that crane rates at New Zealand ports on average have been static, but ship and vessel rates on average have grown about four percent per annum. The container productivity of New Zealand ports appears at least comparable with, and in some cases better than, Australian and other international ports.

Ongoing information on container productivity

The Ministry’s website contains the Transport Indicators. This is a database of national indicators used for monitoring the New Zealand transport system.

The Ministry has included the container productivity data in the TMIF, and plans to update the data on a regular basis.

See quarterly data on container productivity at New Zealand ports (Transport Indicator FT022)
See annual data on container productivity at New Zealand ports (Transport Indicator FT021)

The report on container productivity at New Zealand ports, and the ongoing data on container productivity, provide a useful basis for further work about port productivity in New Zealand.

Acknowledgements

The Ministry of Transport would like to thank the ports of Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, CentrePort Wellington, Lyttelton and Otago for their willingness to participate in this exercise, and to provide the government with regular data on container productivity.

The Ministry would also like to thank the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics in Australia whose framework for measuring port productivity has been used in this exercise, and who reviewed early drafts of the report.