Napier Port is hoping to cut truck movements between the Pandora industrial area and the port by half after the arrival of a second monster heavy haulage trailer to the fleet.
The B-Double Tractor Trailer Units hit the road at 29.5 metres long – almost 50 per cent greater than the length of a cricket pitch - and are the only ones in New Zealand.
The second truck arrived last week and require a special permit to be on the road and an approved route for carrying empty containers from the port to the company's Thames St depot, via Hyderabad Rd.
Each trip removes two regular truck and trailer movements. The first arrived truck arrived in August 2019 followed by a 10-week trial, and now with the second truck, there's a 49 per cent reduction in the number of truck movements between the two points.
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Able to move two 40ft or four 20ft empty containers or a combination of both, the units have been assembled in Tauranga with track axle bogies coming from Australia, to allow every trailer axle to steer to the curvature of the road, reducing tyre wear and road damage.
Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson said the investment arose from Napier Port's 30-year Master Plan, which identified ways to meet challenges of future increases in road vehicle movement - especially as regional growth over the past decade prompts greater cargo flow through the port.
"Ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place as we grow – enough land, equipment,
machinery, technology, and efficient road and rail connections – is paramount," he said.
"Improved rail infrastructure and services, such as ease of rail access and handling, as well as better truck accessibility between depots and into the port is good for customers, the community and the regional economy over the next 30 years", he said.
Port container operations general manager Kianoush (Kia) Zia said: "Adding a second B-Double means fewer trips and helps our road movements to be as efficient as possible between Napier Port and depots."
It was coincidental the second B-Double arrived on Port during Truck Drivers' Appreciation Week, said terminal operations manager Ian Raku Raku.
"Truck drivers are an essential part of our workforce, especially during peak season from February to August," he said, inviting more drivers with Class 5 licences. "At this time of year, we are always keen to add more people to our team."