International port logistics company ISO Limited has been selected as the preferred operator for Kawerau's planned container terminal.
This selection is a vital step towards the container terminal's completion.
Kawerau District Council economic and community development manager Glenn Sutton said the decision was not easy.
"It was an extremely close choice between ISO and the other candidate, C3, as both companies were of high calibre and would have easily met the requirements for the role.
"ISO has high values and an emphasis on community involvement and development that Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau believes will complement and benefit the district."
ISO Limited is an international port logistics company, providing stevedoring, marshalling, warehousing, container-packing, IT and total supply chain solutions to exporters and importers throughout New Zealand, Australia and America.
Its New Zealand operations include Marsden Point, Auckland, Tauranga, Kaingaroa, Murupara, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton, Bluff, Nelson and Timaru.
"Consequently, the company brings a wealth of experience and skills to the operation of the Kawerau container terminal and is well supported by its parent company, QUBE," Sutton said.
Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau initiated the container terminal concept in 2012.
"Once completed, the terminal will provide a cost-effective logistics system for Eastern Bay of Plenty value-added exporters to transport their products to port."
Toi-EDA general manager Francis Pauwels said the terminal would support the Eastern Bay for current and predicted growth.
"This project is positive for the entire Bay of Plenty as business and industry work together to better the region.
"The overarching strategy is to achieve cost-effective and efficient logistics solutions for current businesses to grow, and to attract new businesses into the region.
"Moving freight is a key component of that, but also extends to UFB coverage, airport links, wharf facilities and safe roading networks.
"The terminal site is owned by the Putauaki Trust and represents fantastic partnerships between Eastern Bay businesses and communities."
The next step in the project will see Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau and involved partners working with ISO on the terminal's design.