The arrival a few weeks ago of four stink-bug-infested car carriers has led to severe congestion at the Port of Auckland.

The four vessels were resealed before any cargo discharge and ordered to leave New Zealand waters for fumigation. This has thrown schedules into turmoil and continues to do so.

The introduction of new systems to deal with the unwelcome, highly invasive and economically threatening pest now sees these ships fumigated on arrival and hence occupying berths for far longer than previously.

This has led to the port running out of space in the multi-cargo areas and says Ports of Auckland’s Head of Communications Matt Ball, “… it really highlights the issue we have with the lack of berths”.

With anything up to five car carriers alongside in port recently and more occupying nearby anchorages in the Hauraki Gulf, the pressure of vessel arrivals saw Zodiac Maritime’s 72,700gt Brooklands berth at the city’s Wynyard Wharf oil installation and Toyofuji’s 60401gt Trans Future 7, on 27 April, become the very first vessel to use the recently completed, but yet-to-be-equipped, Fergusson Wharf Container Terminal northern berth.

While alongside the vessel underwent fumigation and other pre-discharge procedures.

Trevor Coppock