Operator lauds crane purchase

00:00, Nov 13 2010

Coastal shipping operator Pacifica says Port Nelson's investment in a new $6 million container crane will lift transport productivity and benefit the region's exporters and importers.

The port company announced this week the purchase was driven by increased maintenance costs for the current cranes, the need to ensure uninterrupted service for the shipping lines and the presently high New Zealand dollar leading to a more favourable cost for the company.

Steve Chapman, Pacifica's general manager of operations, praised the port for recognising the importance of cargo handling efficiency and vessel turnaround times.

"Our weekly connection from Lyttelton to Nelson and on to New Plymouth and Onehunga has recently been boosted with Spirit of Endurance now calling weekly into Nelson, complementing the longstanding service by our smaller vessel, Spirit of Resolution," Mr Chapman said.

In recent months Pacifica has only made occasional visits with its larger vessel Spirit of Endurance, which works on the east coast of New Zealand.

"Providing the Nelson region with more capacity and offering more shipping options can only be good for manufacturers and producers seeking timely and cost-effective transport options, not just for local markets but global markets as well," Mr Chapman said.

The Liebherr LHM 550 mobile harbour crane, capable of lifting 104 tonnes, is expected to arrive in Nelson in mid-April next year.

Port Nelson bought its first LHM 400 unit in 1996, followed by a second in 2000.

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The Nelson Mail