Ports of Tauranga
Ports of Tauranga
Tauranga never featured on the list of NZ ports visited by the host of Conference Lines Home boats during the earlier post war period as that port was limited to the local fishing fleet and to small coastal ships. The first piles for larger berths were driven in 1953 and the Union Co’s MV Korowai was the first to load out.
1957 saw the first log shipment to Japan, a measly 150 tons, but by 1972 the log trade and frozen export trade was booming with the Port Caroline, then the world’s largest refrigerated cargo liner, visiting for the first time.
The Kaimai tunnel through the dividing range of the same name gave Tauranga a direct rail link to the Waikato dairying districts and to Rotorua’s vast forestry region so from then the Port has never looked back as it grew to now be the largest export port in NZ by far. Being a public company they are not fettered by the political restraints against good decision making that hampers the likes of Auckland, Wellington or Lyttelton and they go from strength to strength with Maersk and the like nominating Tauranga their preferred port.
Drive out in a car in any direction from Tauranga and you will be confronted with large numbers of truck and trailer log carrying units that dominate the highways and then drive around the harbour’s Mount Maunganui area to see the huge acreages of log piles waiting to be shipped to China, South Korea and Japan. It is said that the Asian demand will increase due to Russia curtailing log exports in favour of local consumption.
Apparently the Japanese quake and tsunami has increased demand for raw Pinus logs two fold.
Logs are now our third largest export but it seems wasteful and un enterprising that we should be shipping out barely de-barked logs instead of finished timber lines cut, surfaced and conditioned to the end use requirements which would reduce shipping costs hugely and provide a greater range of employment in areas that need it.
Some times we can’t see the wood for the trees
Last edited by spongebob; 21st June 2011 at 20:51..