Today the waterfront area at Port Chalmers has large
reclaimed areas, cargo sheds, stacks of containers, two
container-handling berths, plus logs and woodchips awaiting
shipment from the Beach St berth.
When container shipping services gathered momentum on the
trade routes of the world in the early 1970s, several German
owners seized the opportunity to build vessels purely for the
purpose of chartering out.
In a few weeks time, it will be the 40th anniversary of the
coming of the container ship age to Port Chalmers. Hamburg
Sud's Columbus New Zealand introduced this concept of
cargo handling to the port when it berthed on June 26, 1971,
while on its maiden voyage.
A month has passed since the cruise-ship season, one not
always blessed with good weather, came to an end. Despite two
vessels' visits being cancelled due to weather conditions and
a third because of machinery problems, it was a record
An interesting week at Port Chalmers with a visit from
Stellar Eagle, the largest ship to load logs, and a
record cruise ship season ending with visits from Pacific
Pearl yesterday, and consort Pacific Dawn today.
In the past we used to see quite a lot of them, fully
refrigerated vessels (reefers). They called here to load for
overseas markets, fish, meat and apples when the export apple
season was in full swing. These cargoes now go by container