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New container depot a win-win

A new shipping container depot in Napier has been officially opened with property owner Mana Ahuriri Trust regarding it as a long term win-win with the prospects of job creation for its people and certainty of sustainable growth for tenants ContainerCo Limited.

Mana Ahuriri Trust chairman Piriniha Prentice said the Mersey Street land is part of its Waitangi Treaty Settlement with the Crown.  The trust is set to receive significant land holdings including commercial property and farm land.

Mr Prentice said Mana Ahuriri Trust is excited that the Mersey Street site is up and running with a well-established national business.

ContainerCo is one of New Zealand’s leading independent container storage and servicing businesses, operating at six strategic sites, which serve the four largest ports in New Zealand – Ports of Auckland, Port of Tauranga, Lyttleton Port of Christchurch and Napier Port.

“We see this as a good way of getting our investment portfolio underway. We’re thrilled to provide a new site for ContainerCo as it not only gives us long term cash flow but provides our people with career opportunities.

“For us business relationships are ‘about people’ not transactions; creating career opportunities for our people as well as developing long term relationships with successful businesses such as ContainerCo,” Mr Prentice said.

ContainerCo Hawke’s Bay Manager Mr Garry Fly said the new 5 hectare site is a consolidation of its two container park sites in Battery Road (which closed in 2016) and Austin Street, which will be transitioned to closure or re-purposed next year.

Mr Fly said the $4.5 million facility investment is a strong signal of export and import growth in Hawke’s Bay as well as the success of Port Napier in attracting cargo to and from the wider region.

The facility, within the Napier City Council Industrial zone, will be Container Co’s southern North Island base where up to 4000 – 5000 empty containers (TEUs) can be cleaned, repaired, tested and stored on behalf of some of the World’s leading shipping companies.

It will also be the regional home for ContainerCo’s container hire and sales, and specialised refrigeration businesses.

“The new site future proofs our presence in Hawke’s Bay. We have seen significant growth in the requirement for various container and other shipper related services in recent years and expect this to continue,” he said.

Mr Fly said the business has a fantastic relationship with Mana Ahuriri that extends well beyond being the norm of a tenant and landlord contract.

“This is a very unique partnership and we will be working with Mana Ahuriri to create career opportunities starting from apprenticeships through to management.

The Napier facility employs around 15 staff and ContainerCo about 200 staff nationally with around 40 percent Maori.

Additional development of the facility will provide a new range of services designed to support containerized horticultural exports in the region.

“The site is rail served and we look forward to working with Mana Ahuriri Trust and Kiwi Rail to improve rail options for shipping companies and shippers.

Mr Fly said the facility design incorporates environmental protection features as well as for the future implementation of new types of cargo handling and information technologies that will increase capacity.

Demand for off-port container processing and storage has steadily grown and this site is important as it is near port and rail infrastructure, reducing truck movements and exporter and importer costs.

“The cost of container handling needs to be as low as possible to ensure that exporters are competitive and costs are minimized, therefore container parks need to be as close to the port and rail as possible,” he said.