Port of Tauranga has announced new measures to prioritise urgent imported cargo.
The measures allow importers to identify cargo for essential services before it arrives in New Zealand, so it is handled and transported first, during the national lockdown.
“We take our role as an essential service very seriously and our focus is to ensure vital food, medical and other supplies can keep moving,” the post’s chief executive Mark Cairns said, in a written press release this afternoon.
“We also understand the stresses and strains on people and organisations trying to deal with the current situation, which has seen shipping delays, cancellations and other disruptions.
“We need the support and co-operation of importers and exports to help us manage the flow of cargo and avoid blocking the path of essential food, medicine, equipment and other supplies.”
Deadlines for dwell charges [for time spent at the port without moving] for priority cargo had been extended to relieve import customers and ensure cargo was collected promptly.
Non-essential cargo may be temporarily stored on or off-site until it could be collected by truck or transferred by rail to MetroPort Auckland.
Non-essential cargo would avoid dwell charges until April 26, 2020, (apart for one-off handling charges and power charges for refrigerated containers).
Port of Tauranga had introduced “extensive measures” to protect its staff and their health, to “maintain vital operations”.
They included separation of workgroups, enhanced cleaning regimens and protective equipment for frontline staff such as marine pilots.
Strict border controls were in place.
All international crew shore leave was prohibited and crew members must avoid close contact with port workers.
A summary of the measures being taken is available on the port’s website.