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Strong first quarter cargo volumes at POAL

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 10 October 2008 - For immediate release


Strong first quarter cargo volumes at Ports of Auckland


Ports of Auckland enjoyed strong cargo volumes during the July to September quarter, with its container terminals recording 7% growth over the same period last year.

Volumes hit an eighteen-month high in September, with 130 ship calls and 55,722 containers (78,119 TEU) moving across the wharves.

“For container volumes, September was our strongest month since March 2007 - a good result in uncertain economic times,” said Managing Director Jens Madsen.

“The trend to hubbing is also intensifying, with trans-shipment volumes at the Port this quarter up 24% on the same period last year.”

Mr Madsen credited recent shipping line service changes for the lift in volumes through Ports of Auckland.

Mr Madsen said while peaks in demand were operationally challenging, the Port’s Vehicle Booking System (VBS) was helping improve service delivery to trucking companies and shipping lines.

The Port handled 18% more trucks during September than in 2007, and reduced average truck turnaround times by two minutes.

Mr Madsen said that despite these good results the Port was continuing to work hard to improve the reliability of the VBS and was implementing a range of initiatives to optimise staffing to cater for peak periods.

Even with the positive start to the financial year, Mr Madsen said he was inclined to be cautious about prospects for the December quarter.

“The shipping market continues to experience significant volatility amid the global economic downturn. We anticipate similar volumes for the October to December period as were seen in 2007,” said Mr Madsen.

Import containers made up 54% of the total.

ENDS


The Ports of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest container port by volume, handling around 840,000 TEU (20ft-equivalent units), more than 1,700 ship calls and 3.6 million tonnes of break-bulk (non-containerised) cargo per annum. It is New Zealand’s major import port, a key partner to export industries and the only New Zealand port ranked among the top 120 container ports in the world (Container Management, July 2008). The Ports of Auckland is 100%-owned by Auckland Regional Holdings.

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