NEW Zealand’s Northport has joined the PortConnect software platform as container volumes increase at the port.

Northport commercial manager David Finchett said the investment in the platform was part of its investment in container-handling capability.

“Our investment in PortConnect is part of our continued investment in Northport’s container capability,” said the port’s commercial manager, David Finchett. This includes creating an additional four hectares of paved area with lighting for 24-hr operations, and investment in container-handling equipment such as mobile harbour cranes, reach stackers, dock-trucks and MAFI trailers.

“This will definitely make things easier for shipping lines using the Upper North Island ports and is another small step towards Northport’s vision of a geographically-astute, three-port supply-chain strategy for the region,” Mr Finchett said.

At the port, PortConnect will only facilitate shipping line and regulatory clearances. Northport’s booking system for container collection, used by the trucking industry, will be separate, but is being considered for future integration with PortConnect.

By the second quarter of this year, shipping lines will be able to log in to PortConnect and submit shipping line clearances for containers inbound to Northport through the Clear Container service.  

Northport will be PortConnect’s fifth partner port.

PortConnect is also used by Ports of Auckland, Port of Tauranga, Lyttelton Port Company and Timaru Container Terminal.

Mr Finchett said this consistency would help create a “seamless” container management system for the upper North Island.

A single platform for container management provides the supply chain with higher-quality data and increases economies of scale for partner ports.

PortConnect general manager Dan Cowie said the partnership will assist with reducing manual handling and intervention of container data.

“Providing Trade Single Window and Clear Container services supports Northport in obtaining accurate and timely container clearances. This will enable the port to uphold Customs and MPI regulations and reduce delays for their customers uplifting containers,” he said.

“This first step in our partnership with Northport opens opportunities for efficiency gains within the port with data standardisation and connectivity. We are very pleased in welcoming Northport into the PortConnect family, joining in the interaction and data standardisation journey.”