A vessel normally used to transport cars and trucks will call at Northport tomorrow (16 February) to load approximately 5,000 cubic metres of triboard from the Juken Mill in Kaitaia. The m.v. Istra Ace has sailed from South America and is destined for Japan. She is scheduled to depart Northport late Thursday or early Friday.
The PCTC (Pure Car, Truck Carrier) is a purpose-built vessel for the transportation of different types of rolling cargo such as cars and trucks, heavy construction equipment and other substantial loads. These vessels are usually configured with 10-13 decks for the loading of different vehicle types with axle loads from 1.2 tonnes to more than 22 tonnes. The Istra Ace will load the triboard on the main cargo deck, which is designed for heavy loads, providing the vessel with a ‘backload’ to Japan rather than having to sail the entire route empty.
A fleet of four trucks operating in rotation will drive loads of triboard up the vessel’s stern ramp into the ship where they will be unloaded. There the cargo will be stowed and secured by Northport staff and equipment.
Northport chief executive Jon Moore said this unscheduled call would demonstrate Northport’s ability to receive and handle car carriers and roll-on/roll-off vessels.
“We have been talking to vehicle importers for some years now about how they could restructure and future-proof their business model using Marsden Point as a single hub for vehicle arrival, storage, preparation and distribution,” Mr Moore said.
“We have used our port and harbour simulator to demonstrate how we might handle vessels such as the one arriving tomorrow so we’re looking forward to putting the modelling into practice.”
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Northport, situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility catering for large, multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570 metre linear berth.
Logs, woodchip and processed timber for export comprise the bulk of cargo handled by the port. Recent investment in container handling equipment has seen an uptake in coastal and international container trade. Other export items include kiwifruit, dairy products and manufactured goods. Imports are an important part of Northport’s business and include fertiliser, gypsum, coal and palm kernel.