CentrePort’s two ship-to-shore cranes are back in action – the first time since last November’s Kaikoura earthquake. This will enable more shipping lines to return to Wellington.
After the earthquake made the port’s cranes inoperable, temporary works have allowed them to return to pre-earthquake service levels.
The cranes were working on the Jens Maersk, part of Maersk Line’s Northern Star service, which made its first call at CentrePort on September 18. In August, Maersk Line revealed plans to resume its weekly container shipping service to Wellington.
Stressing that importers and exporters in central New Zealand will receive a major boost, Derek Nind, CentrePort’s Chief Executive, commented: “Container shipping accounts for NZD 1 billion of the NZD 2.5 billion contribution made by the port to the regional economy…We know how important CentrePort’s container shipping is to Central New Zealand’s economic competitiveness – using alternative trade routes has increased domestic transport costs by up to 800% for some businesses.”
An NZD 28 million project secured 125 meters of the 585-meter wharf and includes temporary paving works. Over 185 piles have been driven an average of 40 meters into the soil, made up of more than a thousand tonnes of steel. Additionally, 644 gravel columns have been embedded in the ground to reduce any liquefaction from future earthquakes and provide resilience to the temporary works, according to CentrePort.