Car/truck ship arrives in Northport – to export timber
The car/truck carrier Istra Ace was in Northport yesterday picking up timber products for export. This gave the port a trial run on whether it would ever import vehicles. Photo / Michael Cunningham
When a large ship used to transport cars and trucks arrived in Northport at Marsden Pt yesterday, many residents of Whangārei Port thought it might be the start of the used car importation that has been talked about ever since. long towards the port.
But the Istra Ace was instead picking up a cargo of wood products to be exported overseas.
Northport has long been touted as the best place to support the port of Auckland’s huge trade in imported vehicles, with plenty of land at the port to accommodate them.
However, while the Istra Ace tour was all about picking up the triboard from the Juken factory in Kaitaia, this serves as a great trial run for if the port gets this car import business.
Northport managing director Jon Moore said the unscheduled call will demonstrate Northport’s ability to accommodate and handle car carriers and ro-ro vessels in the future.
The Istra Ace is normally used to haul cars and trucks, but is in Northport to load around 5,000 cubic meters of triboard from the Juken factory in Kaitaia. The Istra Ace departed from South America and is heading to Japan. She was supposed to leave Northport late Thursday or early Friday.
The Pure Car, Truck Carrier is a ship specially designed for transporting different types of rolling cargo, such as cars and trucks, heavy construction equipment and other heavy loads.
These vessels are usually configured with 10 to 13 decks for loading different types of vehicles with axle loads from 1.2 tons to over 22 tons.
The Istra Ace loaded the triboard onto the main cargo deck, which is designed for heavy loads, providing the ship with a backload to Japan rather than having to sail the entire route empty.
A fleet of four rotating trucks drove triboard loads up the ship’s stern ramp to the ship where they were unloaded. There the cargo was then stowed and secured by Northport personnel and equipment.