EASTLAND Port has broken another annual record moving 2.5 million tonnes of product across its wharves for the financial year ending 31 March.
Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum says this is an 8.49% increase compared with last year and reflects the increased volume of export logs coming out of East Coast forests.
“With the ever increasing demand from Asia – the log sector is booming.”
Mr Gaddum says March was a solid month and contributed to the record.
Ten log vessels took away 226,395 tonnes of wood and three refrigerated cargo ships took 2,731 tonne of squash and 623 pallets of kiwifruit.
There was one successful cruise ship visit from the Golden Princess which tendered passengers ashore during her final visit for this cruise ship season.
An estimated 2.6-2.8 million tonnes of logs are expected for 2017 and 2018. Beyond that, 4 million tonnes of export product is expected per year.
Mr Gaddum says the port is a strategic asset for this district. “Soon we will need to make further major capital improvements to ensure it continues to provide the services we all need now and into the future.”
“We have to ensure our piece of the infrastructure is fit for purpose because there’s a downstream effect whereby anyone who has anything to do with the logs be it a faller, truck driver, diesel mechanic, shop owner or accountant, will benefit.”
More than 1 in 4 households in the region have a person whose job is dependent on forestry.
“We want to unlock the port’s potential so it remains a source of opportunity for this district.”