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Ruakura Inland Port Set To Open In Two Years

4th Mar 20

An inland port the size of Auckland's CBD in Hamilton is one step closer with Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga joining forces to open at Ruakura within two years.

The two parties have announced a 50 / 50 joint venture to establish the Ruakura Inland Port, set to open by late 2021 at the same time as the final section of the Waikato Expressway.

Once fully complete, the 480-hectare site will have two million square metres of industrial and logistic buildings on it, Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin told Stuff.

"480 hectares is easy to say but a lot harder to walk around, it's basically five-odd kilometres long and nearly 3km wide."

"If you imagine a map that goes from Parnell in Auckland to West of the Harbour Bridge and up to the top of Queen Street, that's the size of Ruakura."

Development of the inland port has been in the works for years, but Joblin said completion of the expressway was essential for the project.

Access to both road and rail was crucial.

"The critical success factor for Ruakura is its location and the infrastructure that already sits there for the east coast main trunk line, and it's equidistance between Auckland and Tauranga.

"So what that enables people to do is make Ruakura the home for their supply chain and national distribution networks. Things like same day delivery to retail network or retail customers is really really important."

Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings have been in talks since August 2019, when the parties signed an agreement over Port of Tauranga cargo trains servicing Ruakura.

The two parties are a good match in terms of strategic direction and values, he said.

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns agreed.

"This new partnership adds to our strong and growing capacity to serve the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. It combines our own expertise in developing and operating ports, the deep regional connections of Tainui Group Holdings and the scale and efficiencies offered by Ruakura and its road and rail connections," Cairns said.

Joblin said construction on the inland port is due to begin in October and will start with earthworks, followed by building the rail sliding.

 

For the original article and further information, visit www.stuff.co.nz.

 

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