Port company sees operation growth

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 08:54 15/11/2012
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PrimePort is making a positive start in moving forward after a tough year, chief executive Jeremy Boys says.

Timaru's port company had a fulltime staff of 75 until the loss of container trade, redundancies, the return of container trade and then an annual net loss of $7.4 million. With a revised structure, that number has been reduced to 35 fulltime staff and a pool of casuals.

The new Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) container service started on October 10.

"In its first weeks of operation we are seeing excellent growth but look to further support from our local and national exporters to achieve the targets we need," Mr Boys says.

PrimePort has budgeted for an annual target of 25,000 20-foot-equivalent container units.

"The opportunity remains to at least double this, given the high local production. It has been a positive start and we appreciate the support by MSC and the community as we project forward."

Mediterranean Shipping has signalled its commitment to the South Island, taking a 12-year lease in Amherst Properties' new $20m office and retail development in Gloucester St, Christchurch.

The new MSC Capricorn service is a weekly direct call to Australia and Singapore that retains links with the previous Amer- ican service via Napier and Tauranga.

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- The Timaru Herald

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