Mark Cairns and Chris Joblin.
The planned Ruakura Inland Port has taken a big step forward with the announcement of a long-term partnership with Port of Tauranga.
The development will give Waikato-based importers and exporters direct access to fast international shipping services calling at Tauranga.
The agreement with Tainui Group Holdings subsidiary Port Ruakura LP, allows Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port.
Tauranga is the only port call for the biggest container ships visiting New Zealand.
Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said the planned Ruakura Inland Port offers significant cargo handling capacity and scope to meet future needs. The 480 hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses including the planned 30 hectare inland port.
“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s international hub port and the main cargo gateway for the upper North Island,” he said.
Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin welcomed the long-term partnership.
“This initial 30-year agreement with Port of Tauranga is a key step towards fulfilling our vision for Ruakura to unlock the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga for importers and exporters,” he said.
“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow. This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura.”