The New Zealand Ports and Logistics sector is currently expanding with ports experiencing growth of 7% per annum.
Port and Logistics Sector in New Zealand
The New Zealand Ports and Logistics sector is currently expanding with primary products
representing two thirds of New Zealand’s exports and ports experiencing growth of 7% per
annum. Opportunities exist in the expansion of ports, logistics services and inland port
New Zealand heavily relies on imported goods with most of these being shipped from Asia,
Europe and America. The products mostly arrive in shipping containers with these then
transported via truck or trains to end users. A wide range of goods are imported and exported
from New Zealand including timber, cars, electronic goods, frozen food goods, and fabricated
goods. This requires specialist handling equipment and large work spaces at most ports.
Primary products represent two thirds of New Zealand’s exports. Most of these are shipped to
Asia and Europe in the form of timber, milk products, meat products, and other raw materials.
The Auckland Port is New Zealand’s largest port, handling over 30% of the country’s total
seaport trade and 31% of trade across all ports. This includes airports.
Approximately $26.4 billion worth of trade passes through the Auckland Port with Tauranga
being the second largest and handling 16% of the country’s trade.
New Zealand is experiencing a growth in cruise tourism. This is providing valuable tourism and
port revenue for a number of main centres. The industry contributes NZ$190.9 million to the
New Zealand GDP in 2009/10 with this expected to grow to NZ$346 million for 2011/12. In
Auckland the city received over NZ$268 million of direct expenditure from the cruise ports
presence in 2011. Forecasts for the 2012/13 cruise season indicate a 25% rise in passenger
numbers in Auckland. Funding is currently being approved for Auckland cruise terminal
redevelopment at a cost of NZ$14.6 million to create a multi-use facility. Over 82 cruise ships
are expected to visit the Port of Tauranga in 2011/12 with this providing a large boost to the local
tourism industry. Over 166,000 visitors were forecasted to visit New Zealand in the 2011/12
cruise ship season.
There are a number of large organisations that operate in NZ providing freight, logistics and
transport services. DHL, Mainfreight, UPS, and Toll, all provide national services as well as
international logistics services.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) is a major operator in the industry. MAF
protect NZ’s boarders from bio security threats through checking all incoming cargo and
passengers for illegal possessions and harmful goods. The organisation has a number of staff
throughout the country that work at all ports.
There were 150,641 new car registrations in New Zealand in 2010 with 104,383 cars being new
registrations from Japan. 20,186 new commercial vehicles were registered showing NZ’s high
dependency on vehicles for road transport of goods and services. Road freight accounts for over
70% of all domestic freight movements in New Zealand with the majority of this done by large
long haul trucks between the North and South Islands.
Oil prices are established via the international markets. Prices have fluctuated widely over recent
years. Petrol and diesel prices in New Zealand reflect these movements with exchange rates,
excise tax and distributor margins also contributing to high petrol prices and higher freight prices
nationally. Refining NZ has a specialist oil refining plant located at Marsden Point near
Whangarei. The company supplies all of New Zealand’s jet fuel, 80% of diesel, 50% of petrol
and 85% of bitumen for roads. The plant was established in the 1980’s with most of the oil used
being imported from markets overseas. The company is currently in plans for a NZ$365 million
expansion of its petrol making facilities at the Marsden Point plant.
The Port of Auckland and Port of Tauranga have over 68% of the total trade, in value, in New
Zealand. There is a need for development of these ports for expansion in the future. Currently,
the Port of Auckland is experiencing growth of 7% annually. There is a need for the
development of land for new port use. There are opportunities for the development of logistics
plans, land development and container service products for use at -both the Port of Auckland and
Port of Tauranga.
The growth in the cruise tourism market is providing opportunities in the market with the
redevelopment of the Auckland Cruise terminal and the on-going services required by tourists in
With New Zealand being located a long way from other trading partners supply chains for goods
is critical in all New Zealand companies. The efficiency of supply chains and accuracy is
something that companies in New Zealand value. In knowing when products are arriving from
overseas this can then be communicated to clients.
Recent events in New Zealand such as the Canterbury Earthquakes have shown the need for
accurate information on supply chains and planning for natural disasters. There are opportunities
to up skill New Zealand logistics companies in this area and provide additional services for
Oil and petrol is used throughout the transport and logistics sector. New Zealand’s petroleum is
produced mainly by Refining NZ. Refining NZ is currently upgrading its petroleum plant with a
NZ$365 million expansion of facilities at Marsden Point. This could provide opportunities for
UK companies with specific expertise.
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Latest export opportunities – Mass Transport
Latest export opportunities - New Zealand
Getting into the market
The main opportunities for UK companies, in the sector, exist in the development, planning,
providing of key infrastructure and logistics projects. There are a number of opportunities to
provide UK expertise in the development of logistics plans and port development. These
opportunities are concentrated on efficiency and maximising the use of the ports space. Most of
this being small at the harbour with plans to open more inland ports for container and cargo
More about doing business in New Zealand
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Paul Tuckley, British Consulate-General Auckland. Tel: +64 (0) 9 303 5017 or email:
ξ Hamish Jenkin, British Consulate-General Auckland. Tel: +64 (0) 9 303 5014 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – Mass Transport
The Road Transport Forum Conference 2012
Date: 19 September 2012
CILT NZ Annual Forum and Awards Dinner 2012
Date: 17 October 2012
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters