Port of Tauranga and would-be competing operator NZL Group are continuing to disagree.

NZL wants to set up a terminal at Port of Tauranga's Sulphur Point container terminal with Ports of Auckland as its customer and argues it has a historic right to do so dating back to a previous operation in 2003.

NZL director Ken Harris said yesterday that progress had been made in establishing the terms under which NZL could re-establish its container terminal.

"NZL's terminal re-establishment rights are clear-cut," Harris said.

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said the parties had not made progress and the forum for resolving the issue was the High Court.

The port has consistently argued that the previous operations of NZL at Sulphur Point did not amount to a full terminal service.

"We accept they have contractual rights to set up as a marshalling contractor and we will allocate an area once we know what their operation is," Cairns said.

NZL already has a marshalling operation at the port at Mt Maunganui.