The incoming wall of wood
The lower North Island region’s forests of the 1990s are reaching maturity. This is creating a “wall of wood” and significant growth for the log industry in the region.
The growth in log volumes through CentrePort has been significant. Volumes have doubled in the past six years, and this growth is predicted to continue over the next decade.
A record 1,709,435 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard) was exported. This was a 27 per cent increase on the previous year, led by strong demand from China.
Putting the log in logistics
As logging continues to expand, CentrePort has been looking at innovative ways to continue to develop cost-effective, safe, sustainable and efficient supply chain solutions that reduce truck movements.
The Waingawa log hub, outside Masterton, was specifically built to support the efficient and fast movement of logs directly to the port.
CentrePort developed the land at Waingawa, with the rail maintained by KiwiRail, to ensure there is capacity to take logs directly to the port.
Logs arrive at the Waingawa hub and are sent by rail to Wellington daily. This has taken a significant number of trucks off the road – reducing the number of truck journeys over the Rimutakas by up to 30,000 annually – an environmental, social and economic win for the region. Rail also reduces road maintenance costs and has 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne compared to trucks.
In July 2019, KiwiRail and CentrePort announced additional capacity from Waingawa from 30 to 45 wagons a day. Transporting an additional 100,000 tonnes of logs by rail from the Wairarapa to CentrePort will reduce a further 6,000 truck trips annually. Ultimately the expanded service will increase capacity by up to 200,000 tonnes per annum.
As log volume continues to increase, we will invest in infrastructure and rail capacity will grow to meet the demand.
Masterton-based Forest Enterprises is one of the companies making the most of CentrePort’s inland Waingawa hub to export its logs through the port.
Forest Enterprises manages about 20,000 hectares of forestry, with 9,000 hectares in the Wairarapa.
“A lot of the wood that was planted in the 1990s is coming into the mid-20s now, so it's time for it to be harvested, creating a big increase for us.”Bert Hughes, CEO, Forest Enterprises
“CentrePort is providing the infrastructure that makes it possible. CentrePort has been a real key to us being able to increase our production.”
Opened in late 2015, the Waingawa hub south of Masterton has allowed companies like Forest Enterprises to load its logs onto trains bound directly to the port to then on-sell and export.
“When we look back historically, Derek Nind has been a real driver of the rail solution with investing in Waingawa.Bert Hughes, CEO, Forest Enterprises
CentrePort made a commitment to make the infrastructure available and we would use it in order that there was no risk to either party. That's just endured so we're really happy with that.”