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Auckland, Napier ports link up

NZN 2/08/2016 Sophie Boot

Ports of Auckland and Napier Port have announced a strategic alliance they say will help improve services for freight customers and save exporters and importers money through a more efficient supply chain.

The marine transport hubs will look at ways to align their services, which they said would reduce costs for exporters and importers - without providing any detail.

The strategic alliance would build their existing joint venture in Palmerston North's Longburn regional freight hub, the operators said in a statement.

"This strategy helps to balance freight flows, provides exporters with choice, improves access to overseas markets and reduces exporters' costs due to supply chain efficiencies."

The deal is the latest in a series of moves by the Auckland port operator to expand its network across the North Island and fend off similar moves by rival Port of Tauranga.

Napier Port chief executive Garth Cowie says the alliance fits with Auckland's weighting towards imports and Napier's strong export base, and better international freight links would benefit Hawke's Bay and support local employment opportunities.

Napier Port's vision is to become the leading provider of port and logistic solutions in central New Zealand. The operator is planning a new wharf to accommodate larger ships and cargo demand.

Last week, the government announced it would invest $25 million in improving road access to the port, part of $245m being invested in land transport in the Hawke's Bay region over the next three years.

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