A record 260,000 tonnes of logs were exported from Eastland Port during February, almost as much as an entire year’s throughput a decade ago.
In the past month, 259,081 tonnes of logs and 5,580 tonnes of squash were handled by the port, a total cargo of 264,608 tonnes.
“That’s our best month ever,” says Eastland Port general manager, Andrew Gaddum. “Incredibly, this month’s log volume is only 54,000 shy of the entire year’s volume in 2006.”
Mr Gaddum says 13 log ships, two squash ships and four cruise ships visited during February.
“We’ve certainly been very busy, especially when it was only a 29 day month. And March is shaping up to be another good month too.
“Our busiest previous month was October 2015, when 232,000 tonnes went across the port. August last year was also busy, with 234,000 tonnes,” he says.
“Eastland Port is proud to be the country’s most efficient logging port. We’ve worked hard with our customers and suppliers to introduce systems and processes that make sure we’re moving logs as efficiently as possible. Every single log is barcoded and scanned in and out, and an individual log stays an average of just eight days on port.”
Eastland Group bought the port from Gisborne District Council in 2003 and has steadily grown export volumes – mostly raw logs – from 480,000 tonnes in 2003 to a record 2.8 million tonnes in 2014.
Group chief executive, Matt Todd, says the company has spent around $75 million on capital enhancements since 2010, and plans to invest just as significantly over the next five years to accommodate customer projections for forestry harvest.
Recently-completed projects include the $11 million redevelopment of the upper log yard and the introduction of a world class water treatment system.
“The East Coast forestry industry continues to grow, providing opportunity and employment for our entire region. Eastland Group’s aim is to provide excellent infrastructure to support regional economic development,” says Mr Todd.