CONTAINER volumes through Zealand’s South Port have been adversely impacted by supply-chain disruptions, according to the company’s latest half-year results, announced to the NZX.

The results for the six months to 31 December 2021 indicated net earnings held up well despite supply-chain disruptions, however container volumes showed a 23% decline.

Bulk cargo volumes were reportedly consistent with the previous financial period but are expected to decrease in the coming half-year due to reduced demand in the Chinese log market.

Total reported throughput was at 1.745 million tonnes, up 1.5% from 1.72 million tonnes in the previous year interim period.

Factors impacting the 2022 half year results included a downward cycle in the log market, supply chain disruptions, a decrease in cold storage volumes, and an increase in stock food imports.

“Disruption in the container supply chain is a worldwide phenomenon which has reached all corners of the globe, including South Port, impacting both volumes of cargo and the number of ships calling at the port,” South Port chairman Rex Chapman said.

South Port chief executive Nigel Gear said the port recorded increases in stock food and aluminium cargo.

However, other bulk cargoes were negatively impacted, with log cargo down 29,000 tonnes compared to the previous half-year.

“Containerised cargo decreased 23% to 20,800 TEU (FY2021 27,000 TEU). The main decreases were reflected in forestry and fertiliser products,” Mr Gear said.

“Container vessels transiting the port were down 32% on the same period last year, at 17 calls (FY2021 25 calls).”

Mr Chapman said the pandemic has continued to create uncertainty in the marketplace and has made the port’s business operations challenging.

“Containerised activity will continue to be impacted by the disruption in the supply chain which is not expected to improve until 2023 at the earliest,” he said.

“The outlook for export log markets is expected to remain subdued until at least the second quarter of 2022, post-Chinese New Year, however other bulk cargoes are expected to hold up well during this time.”

Shifting focus to works around the port, a potential hydrogen plant is being considered for the region.

Two electricity generation companies are investigating the establishment of largescale green hydrogen opportunities for 2025.

Reported capital works include the dredging of an entrance channel, an upgrade to the Town Wharf which services the petroleum import activity for the region, and the installation of an Impressed Current Cathodic Protection system on the port’s access bridge.