Lyttelton Port of Christchurch was meeting the
competition generated by Port of Tauranga by developing a
second inland port at Rolleston, Craigs Investment Partners
broker Greg Easton said yesterday.
LPC announced yesterday it had bought a 27ha site in
Rolleston, close to the main south rail line connecting City
Depot, the company's established inland port in Woolston, and
the Lyttelton Container Terminal.
The new inland port would act as a hub for receiving, storing
and consolidating containers and as a distribution point
where containers were transferred between trucks.
Port of Tauranga, which has a 50% share in PrimePort Timaru,
earlier established an inland port at Rolleston.
''When the Port of Tauranga does anything in this industry,
the rest take note. LPC and Tauranga are positioning
themselves for higher container volumes and increasing dairy
commodities,'' Mr Easton said.
''Port of Tauranga coming south has given the South Island
ports a wake-up call.''
Port of Tauranga was No 1 on industry leadership, he said.
With only so much cargo to go around, and it being carried on
larger ships, port companies such as LPC needed to develop
bases to store containers and reroute commodities.
Asked if the competition between the Tauranga and Lyttelton
port companies would have an effect on Port of Otago, Mr
Easton said there was cargo which had to go through Port
Chalmers rather than going further north. There was no point
sending logs or dairy commodities from Otago north to
Lyttelton by road or rail.
In that respect, Port of Otago was in competition with
Bluff's South Port. The competition was becoming more heated
between the companies operating in Canterbury.
''In this instance, the two northern ports are investing for
the long term, 20 to 30 years, not the next two or three.''
However, there could be some nervousness around the Port of
Otago board table about competition at the edges of the
business, he said.
LPC chief executive Peter Davie said the development of the
company's second inland port would have several benefits for
''LPC has been through a challenging period while working
through an earthquake settlement process with our insurer but
now this has been finalised, we can move forward with
confidence on a number of projects.
''This investment in a second inland port and other planned
projects will strengthen our position as the main freight
gateway in the South Island,'' Mr Davie said.