Timaru port axes 50 jobs after losing container services

Prime Port Timaru

Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.

Launch Radio player

BUSINESSDESK: Prime Port Timaru, the most centrally located South Island port, will axe more than 50 jobs by the end of September after losing container shipping services in July, says the union whose members are affected.

Global shipping lines Maersk and Hamburg Sud pulled the plug on Prime Port, leaving Lyttelton Port, Port Chalmers and Nelson as the remaining South Island ports offering containerised freight services.

"Since Maersk and Hamburg Sud announced they were pulling out of the Timaru container trade our members have been left wondering about the extent of job losses on the waterfront," Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson says.

"The lack of a national ports strategy condemns ports to compete with one another for trade and the losers are Kiwi workers, ratepayers, and local businesses." 

Timaru had already lost about a third of its container volume because of Fonterra’s decision in 2009 to rail product from its Clandeboye plant in South Canterbury to Lyttelton as part of a rationalisation of the number of ports it used.

State-owned KiwiRail also pulled the plug on Timaru about three years ago.


4 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Post Comment

4 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Interesting. The POA union debacle was often portrayed as the main reason they lost business. I always viewed this with much suspicion, however, as too little was made of the power the shipping companies exert over NZ port infrastructure. Competition is a good thing, but so is a cohesive national strategy. If only they could be viewed as bedfellows rather than polar opposites.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Common ownership of the ports will never happen unless its government mandated. While it would be best for NZ as whole for there to be a cohesive nz port strategy to negotiate the best terms with foreign shipping companies, there are two problems:

- there would then be no competition for domestic business; and
- in many cases the ports are owned by local government which would potentially suffer disastrous consequences (both financially and therefore politically) if their local port was subsequently 'rationalised' post-amalgamation as the merged entity decided which would be best suited for ongoing operation

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

a shame, Timaru is quite the place. Hopefully they can attract other industry - holcim etc to continue its viability.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

A race to the bottom. I guess this means more container trucks on our narrow highways.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6682 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.8900 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6004 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4291 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.1867 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 82.0970 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1163.5 -2.500 2015-07-02T00:
Oil Brent 62.6 -0.180 2015-07-02T00:
Oil Nymex 56.9 -0.010 2015-07-02T00:
Silver Index 15.6 -0.015 2015-07-02T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5841.5 5872.6 5841.5 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5024.3 5027.5 5013.1 -0.08%
DAX 11082.0 11123.2 11099.4 -0.37%
DJI 17763.3 17825.5 17757.9 -0.16%
FTSE 6630.5 6630.8 6630.5 -0.67%
HKSE 26349.8 26402.8 26282.3 -0.83%
NI225 20476.7 20557.5 20522.5 0.08%