Ports of Auckland has started construction of a state-of- the-art inland port at Horotiu, just north of Hamilton.
The freight hub (or inland port) is located in the heart of the ‘Golden Triangle’, New Zealand’s fastest growing region. It has excellent rail and road connections to the country’s two largest ports, as well as the lower North Island and three of the country’s five largest cities. The Waikato Freight Hub will be connected by rail to existing hubs at Wiri, South Auckland, Mount Maunganui, and Longburn, Manawatu.
Fulton Hogan has been awarded the contract to undertake earthworks to level the site. Work will continue through summer and construction of a new road-over-rail bridge to establish a connection to the existing road network is expected to start in early 2017.
By creating a network of freight hubs across the North Island and by partnering with Napier Port, Ports of Auckland say they will be able to keep freight costs down and offer access to a wider range of shipping services to North Island exporters and importers.
The first freight handling facilities are expected to be in service by late 2017 or early 2018, once road and rail connections are built. Ports of Auckland has already had significant interest from cargo owners in using the site. When fully complete, the freight hub is expected to generate around 300 jobs directly and facilitate many thousands more by acting as an economic catalyst.
The hub will be built with sustainability in mind and will include features that enhance the local environment. Where practical the development will include solar power paired with energy storage to provide 24/7 renewable energy, and the hub will use LED lighting and other energy efficient technology.
Picture: CGI rendering of how the freight hub will look on completion.