Trucks shipping much-sought-after Christmas stock are back on the road again this morning, making the journey from Northland to Auckland.
Twelve hundred shipping containers were offloaded at Northport because of congestion at Ports of Auckland.
However, transporting the containers came to a halt on Saturday afternoon to give Northport staff a much-needed break as its forklift drivers had reached the maximum number of hours under the company's fatigue management policy.
It was a move which struck the ire of the National Road Carriers, which claimed Northport didn't have the resources or the facilities to complete the operation efficiently.
"There were at least 30 trucks in the queue at the time they stopped operations, some of those might have got their containers but the rest would have been turned around," chief executive David Aitken said on Saturday.
A Northport spokesman said more than 200 trucks turned up at the port prior to 3pm on Saturday and 10 per cent of the containers were loaded at a rate of 10 or 11 an hour.
He said operations resumed at 6am today as planned.
Most of the containers were heading to Auckland, however there were a few heading further south, including to Hamilton. One container was destined for Whangārei.
As for when all the containers would be moved, the spokesman said the expectation was that would happen by the end of the week, but that was "entirely dependent on the rate at which the trucks turned up at the port to clear the containers".
The spokesman today said they had the capacity to move "several hundred containers a day".
He said the company thought the "National Road Carriers communique on Saturday was outrageous".
"They told New Zealand we had stopped operations unexpectedly, burned through our resources and fallen short of the task.
"The reality was that we let them know on Wednesday last week that we would be closing the port from 3pm on Saturday until 6am this morning to give our small team a well-deserved rest.
"They've been pulling massive hours to get these containers off that ship, onto those trucks and down to Auckland.
"We thought that to say they had 'fallen short of the task' was grossly disrespectful. We have said consistently that we have a small team and limited resources, and we have asked for patience and cooperation while we deal with the significant task we have been set.
"On Saturday, the NRC extended neither of these two courtesies."