Congestion at the port of Tauranga: 19 ships awaiting berthing due to disruption of the international supply chain

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At least 19 ships can be seen waiting to dock at the port of Tauranga. Image / Ship search

At least 19 ships are anchored outside the port of Tauranga and three more are on their way to the port of Tauranga, as the disruption of the international supply chain creates an “incessant” flow of goods.

Ship Finder, a live marine tracking website, shows 19 ships anchored from the harbor entrance along the coast to the Coromandel while three other ships are en route, located off the coast of Whakatāne.

At least 19 ships are waiting to dock at the port of Tauranga.  Photo / George Novak
At least 19 ships are waiting to dock at the port of Tauranga. Photo / George Novak

A spokeswoman for the port of Tauranga said the backlog was the result of continued disruption in the international supply chain.

“There is also still congestion and reduced capacity at Auckland’s ports, so we are handling large volumes of diverted import and export cargo.”

The spokesperson said it was clear the ships were not currently hijacked from Auckland, but the cargo was as were the empty containers.

There is no delay ashore due to an increase in the port’s train schedule, but many ships were arriving outside the scheduled time, she said.

“We treat them as they arrive and they wait at anchor until a berth is available.

“We are in the midst of the kiwifruit export season for container and charter ships and there is strong international demand for New Zealand export logs.”

The vessels waiting at anchor were mainly log export vessels and container import and export vessels, the spokeswoman said.

“The number changes every day.

“Our team members and service providers do an incredible job handling the endless flow of freight and we thank our customers for their patience. “

Auckland Harbor has been approached for comment.

There were no delays ashore, but ships were arriving late, a port spokeswoman said.  Photo / George Novak
There were no delays ashore, but ships were arriving late, a port spokeswoman said. Photo / George Novak

The Bay of Plenty Times reported on “container chaos” earlier this month due to maritime congestion affecting ports around the world – the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time, a spokeswoman for the port of Tauranga said KiwiRail provided additional trains to avoid “significant delays”.

She said ships always arrive late and while the port processes them on arrival, some have to wait briefly at anchor.

Matt Ball of Auckland Ports said at the time their container terminal was operating at 100% or more of capacity most of the time.

Earlier this month, Ball said the port was able to increase its capacity to more than 1,000 20-foot equivalent units, which would help ease congestion.


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