The region’s port exports the same amount of wood in a day and a half as it used to in a month, says General Manager Andrew Gaddum.

This February, 246,581 tonnes of wood was loaded onto 11 log vessels and two ships took away 4,681 tonnes of squash.

“Last month I saw an old report from January 2006. Back then the port was visited by two log vessels, four squash ships, and one ship picking up plywood.”

Mr Gaddum says the January 2006 log volume was 13,000 tonnes – which is what ISO and C3 staff now shift in a day and a half.

“Given the significant increase in log export volumes over the past decade we’re excited about investing in the port’s infrastructure.”

Eastland Port is developing its wharves so it can park two 200m long ships in the port at the same time.

“By ensuring our link in the logistics chain is fit for purpose, we can help ensure the forestry industry remains viable and profitable for the region.”

To progress the twin berth development, the port has submitted initial consent applications to Gisborne District Council to rebuild wharves 6 and 7, and reshape the slipway.

Mr Gaddum says wharves six and seven are over 60 years old and no longer up to task. “Originally built for fishing boats, wharf 6 will be used to berth our tug boats, and in the future to help tie up 200m long log vessels off wharf 7.”

“Meanwhile, wharf 7 will be rebuilt stronger to meet the demands of increasing vessel weights.”

Mr Gaddum says the slipway needs to be made smaller so two 200m long vessels can be safely manoeuvred in port at once.

Image: February sunset by Eastland Port deckhand Keaghan Hartshorne.