Topics: Employment, Environment

85,000 logging trucks to come through Napier Port

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A 'wall of wood' has hit the Napier Port with 50,000 logging trucks a year coming through its gates carrying 2.1 million tonnes of wood.

But it's not stopping there with forecasts set to surpass three million tonnes of logs. 

"To handle this kind of volume we're going to have increased movement through the supply chain.  So last year we had around 50,000 log trucks.  We think in probably 6- 8 years time we'll be doing 85,000 log trucks," says Andrew Locke, Commercial Manager of Napier Port.

Known as the famous 'wall of wood' it's expected to surpass three million tonnes in the very near future.

"A huge amount of forestry was planted from in the 1990s, through government incentives, and now we're starting to see all of that coming to fruition so the famous 'wall of wood' is definitely at Napier and we're geared up to handle it," says Locke.

The port has 500 workers directly associated with it but across the region and beyond it has created employment for 27,000 people.

That means increased health and safety procedures.  In the last 22 years the port has seen two deaths.

"I suppose for us the most paramount thing in our business is safety.  There is no point setting records, no point handling all this volume if we're hurting people and the senior team at the port- the people here at the port- are very very focused on ensuring that we're all looked after."

Eighty percent of the wood heads to China while the rest of heads to Korea and India.