South Port enters deal with Chinese port

South Port NZ Ltd has secured links with a Chinese port, which management hopes will help to gain a bigger foothold in the Chinese market.

The Bluff-based operation has entered into an Agreement on Technical Co-operation with Lanshan Harbour Co Ltd.

Situated in the eastern part of Shandong province, near the middle of China's coastline, Lanshan Port is the largest export destination for New Zealand pinus radiata logs.

South Port chief executive Mark O'Connor said the agreement would provide opportunities for the two ports to better understand the type of product each handles and share technical information that would improve business.

He hoped the agreement would create a direct connection into China and open doors for South Port and Southland. "This is the beginning of developing more extensive relationships in the China market," he said.

Mr O'Connor this month travelled with South Port chairman Rex Chapman to China to sign the Technical Co-operation Agreement (TCO) and meet with senior Lanshan general manager Jinrui Shang. "I was very impressed with China, it exceeded my expectations," Mr O'Connor said.

He said he did not find it hard to do business because South Port Chinese customer NAC Trading Ltd assisted with protocol and provided guidance in China.

"NAC encouraged Lanshan to contact South Port and a representative travelled with South Port personnel in Shandong Province," he said.

While in China Mr Chapman and Mr O'Connor met with a trading entity in Qingdao (Shandong Foreign TradeTeifang) and Shandong Haihua Group – a large chemical manufacturing company in Weifang.

"South Port is very privileged to be able to form a relationship with Lanshan Port and looks forward to closer co-operation on port logistics and exploring further trade opportunities with its Chinese counterpart," Mr Chapman said.

In the first five months of this year Lanshan Port handled a total of 1.6 million tonnes of log imports, of which more than 1.0 million tonnes was pinus radiata material sourced from the New Zealand market.

Other major cargos at Lanshan Port include: iron ore, nickel ore, liquid petro-chemicals, grain and steel. It has a current total cargo of 54 million tonnes.

The Southland Times