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The coalition government of New Zealand has decided that sea freight operations in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, and plans are to be drawn up to move the operations elsewhere.

The government agreed that the port, which mainly handles imports and automobiles, has become increasingly unworkable due to its location, its lack of water depth and the demands of local urban development.

According to analysis made by the catchily-named Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy Working Group, the port generates low value business and economic returns while occupying prime waterfront space. At the same time, the report said, a combination of freight vehicles and a growing urban population is causing problems with local traffic congestion.

The report also determined that dredging the harbour to accommodate larger vessels was not viable in terms of environmental impact.

New Zealand government decides Ports of Auckland no longer viable
Credit: Dan Freeman

However, Ports of Auckland management insisted that moving the port would require greater road and rail links back to the city, where most of the goods would still be consumed, increasing emissions by 700%.

Ports of Auckland cannot presently be compelled to move and is not likely to make a deal with the alternative ports of Tauranga and Northport, which are owned or majority owned by rival holding companies.

As a solution, the report suggested that the government gives the port companies a deadline for reaching a commercial agreement, or else introduces new legislation to get the job done.

Source: World Cargo News

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