KiwiRail’s key Auckland rail freight terminal at Southdown has shown a 20% increase in container through-put in the past financial year, demonstrating a welcome endorsement by customers for the strategic direction being taken by the company.
During the 12 months from July 1 2010 to June 31st 2011, the 42-strong Southdown team managed a total of 272,822 TEU, compared with 227,337 for the previous 12 months.
This growth places Southdown as a strong challenger to the Port of Lyttleton as the third busiest container terminal in the country behind the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga.
Customers for whom speed to market is critical are recognising the strengths of the site, says KiwiRail’s freight operations manager Aaron Temperton.
“It’s central location close to several major freight forwarding customers and the motorway network, combined with quick turn-around times and the economies of scale rail can bring to the supply chain are all factors that work in its favour.”
The site is set up to maximise through put and truck turn-around times are averaging 16.5 minutes which is well within international best practise guidelines.
The increase in volumes has been largely underpinned by significant growth in volumes coming through Metroport – KiwiRail’s inland port joint venture with Port of Tauranga – supplemented by other general import-export volumes being moved out of Auckland.
Another significant contributor is a cross-town shuttle service moving containers from Ports of Auckland to the Southdown site for collection by freight forwarders and importers and also a drop-off point for exporters.
“We see this offering continuing to grow and develop as a complement for other inland port and hub facilities in the region” adds Mr Temperton.
Growth at Southdown also reflects significant the growth that is being achieved within the domestic sector.
“This is an area we have earmarked for on-going growth,and have put a particular focus on.
“The addition of new locomotives, wagons, and specialised containers to our fleet has enabled us to develop a range of new services and equipment which will be introduced later this year for the peak freight season.”