Eastland Port recorded a hearty start to its financial year moving more tonne of product last month than any other April on record.

General Manager Andrew Gaddum said forestry’s strong prices have driven the record volume of wood across the wharf.

“Timber is a prime source of construction material worldwide and demand is unyielding at the moment, so we’re seeing the local response to that in our monthly load out volumes.”

This April, 223,693 tonnes of wood was loaded onto 11 log vessels, a 38 percent increase on what was expected. Also during the month, one refrigerated cargo ship took 755 pallets of kiwi fruit and 567 tonnes of squash away.

“It’s a credit to the hard work and dedication of Eastland Port staff that we’ve come off the back of a record 2016, and now 2017 has started so well. We’re really proud to be an important cog in the forestry industry, as well as being able to contribute to community funded projects.”

Eastland Port is part of regional infrastructure company Eastland Group which is 100 percent owned by Eastland Community Trust (ECT). The port generates about 50% of Eastland Group’s earnings and therefore is a substantial contributor to the annual community grants paid out by ECT.

Port profit directly benefits the community in the form of grants distribution to projects like the HB Williams Memorial Library, Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust, and Life Education Trust; and joint ventures such as the new wood processing plant proposed with Wood Engineering Technology Ltd (WET).

Mr Gaddum says the strong start to this financial year is a reminder why the port is embarking on its twin berth development programme announced earlier this week.

Mr Gaddum encourages debate on the twin berth development plans and asks that public let the port know their thoughts at www.twinberth.nz or by picking up a consultation booklet from Eastland Port, 1 Kaiti Beach Road, or Eastland Group office, 2nd floor, 37 Gladstone Road.