|New Zealand's freight task. Source: Ministry of Transport|
This has major implications for our seaports and land transport in New Zealand. On the one hand it means that the cost of transport for New Zealand's exports should decrease as economies of scale are met. But larger ships also have significant costs - particularly resolving bottlenecks in the road, rail and coastal shipping networks.
Recently the Ministry of Transport has released the "Future Freight Scenarios Study". The report, written by consulting firm Deloitte, looks at ten different scenarios for New Zealand's seaports. The scenarios are based on a "hub and spoke" approach to seaports.
- Status quo: 10 container ports around New Zealand in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Otago and Bluff.
- Five hub ports - Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Lyttelton and Otago. Others cease international trade from 2017, becoming "feeder" ports.
- Four hub ports (two per island) - Auckland, Tauranga in the North and Lyttelton and Otago in the south. All others become "feeder" ports.
- Three hub ports - Auckland, Tauranga and Lyttelton, all others become "feeder" ports.
- Three hub ports - Auckland, Tauranga and Otago, all others become "feeder" ports.
- Two hub ports - Auckland and Lyttelton
- Two hub ports - Tauranga and Lyttelton
- Two hub ports - Auckland and Otago
- Two hub ports - Tauranga and Otago
- One hub port - Tauranga