The Waikato-Tainui owned Ruakura inland port development has taken a major step forward with the announcement today of a joint venture partnership with a world-class port operator.
The tribe’s commercial company Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and LINX Cargo Care Group have joined forces to develop and operate the new port, which is currently under construction and expected to bring significant economic return to Waikato-Tainui and the region.
LINX Cargo Care Group and one of its subsidiaries, C3 Limited, New Zealand’s largest on-wharf logistics company, are owned by a Brookfield Consortium which brings together global experience in port operations and infrastructure development.
Rukumoana Schaafhausen, Chairman of the tribe’s executive committee Te Arataura, welcomed LINX Cargo Care Group to the Waikato-Tainui whaanau and acknowledged their mutual commitment to long-term investment.
“Waikato-Tainui is an inter-generational investor. What we achieve today will reverberate for generations of our mokopuna. LINX brings not only significant expertise in port development and operation but also a long-term vision that matches our view of the positive environmental, social and economic advantages that must and will come from this project,” she said.
TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said the conditional agreement reached this week will bring the full force of LINX Cargo Care Group’s world class experience to bear at Ruakura through a new joint venture to develop and operate the port.
“We are delighted to confirm this agreement with LINX Cargo Care Group following a comprehensive RFP process over the past ten months which attracted expressions of interest from seven potential port operators,” Mr Joblin said.
“LINX and C3 share our long-term vision to help transform North Island freight flows, driving new levels of productivity, efficiency and speed to market for the rapidly growing export and import community in the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga,” he said.
The 50/50 joint venture of TGH and LINX Cargo Care Group will take an initial 30 year lease on the inland port land at Ruakura, subject to the OIO (Overseas Investment Office) approval for the participation of LINX Cargo Care Group which operates extensively across Australia and New Zealand.
Waikato-Tainui will continue to own the land on which the Ruakura Inland Port is built, and benefit from ground lease payments for its use.
Anthony Jones, Group CEO for LINX Cargo Care Group and Chairman of C3 said the transformative nature of Ruakura was a major attraction.
“Ruakura will be transformational for the New Zealand logistical supply chain. It will offer stable, efficient and cost effective networks for importers and exporters to grow with confidence in the future. We are extremely excited to be part of this project for New Zealand’s North Island communities, which will deliver long-term benefits such as safer roads, employment opportunities and reliable inland transport networks,” he said.
In addition to the range of services Ruakura will provide to the region’s exporters and importers, it has the potential to support 6,000-12,000 jobs within the precinct once fully-built.
Employment opportunities for Waikato-Tainui people are a core element of the tribe’s vision for Ruakura. The LINX Cargo Care Group’s commitment to work with Waikato-Tainui on creating jobs for tribal members forms an important part of the JV agreement.
The appointment includes an agreement with C3 to run the port’s day-to-day operations. It covers services such as: managing receipt and delivery of containers and non-containerised cargo; container storage; coordinating cargo transfers between the port and adjacent warehousing; container packing and unpacking services; providing a terminal operating system for the port; back office services and on-site reception and management offices.
Mr Joblin said C3’s position as New Zealand’s largest on-port services provider meant it worked in partnership with a large number of exporters and importers, providing a pipeline of potential customers for Ruakura.
“C3 has a strong and loyal customer base. They have deeply integrated relationships with forest owners, primary wood processors, importers, manufacturers and shipping lines. These are among the sectors Ruakura is designed to service, by providing customers with a supply chain that will deliver a choice of port and shipping providers; efficiencies gained from Ruakura’s significant scale; multiple transport options; and a site that offers the ability to scale up and meet current and future needs.
“We are in positive discussions with prospective customers and tenants for the inland port and adjoining logistics hub which will have excellent connections to the East Coast Main Trunk Line and to the new Waikato Expressway via a full diamond interchange.
“Now that LINX Cargo Care Group is on board, we will continue working together to achieve our goal of having Stage 1 of Ruakura operating in the first half of 2019,” said Mr Joblin.
Ruakura inland port and logistics hub is a game-changing new facility to help New Zealand’s most freight-reliant businesses optimise their North Island freight flows. Offering genuine scale, the core of the development is a 30ha inland port offering ‘port neutral’ access to the Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga through direct access to main trunk rail services and the Waikato Expressway. Complementing the inland port is a 60ha logistics precinct offering room to grow for businesses seeking a substantial footprint, and adjoining precincts for industrial, commercial, residential and retail use amid 50 hectares of green space for amenity, environmental protection and recreation. Ruakura is long-term project by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), which is 100% owned by Waikato-Tainui. It’s track record includes quality developments at The Base, one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, and hotels at Auckland Airport and Hamilton as part of the $800m diversified portfolio it manages on behalf of the Waikato-Tainui people. See also tgh.co.nz
About LINX Cargo Care Group
LINX Cargo Care Group brings together the capabilities of four market-leading operations built on over 100 years of port and logistics experience. Together, LINX, Autocare, C3 and Geelong Port employs more than 3,800 highly-skilled professionals in 60 sites across Australia and New Zealand. The Group services a diverse range of industries right across the region, from Agriculture, oil and gas, aluminium and automotive to marine, mining and resources, food and beverage and forestry. Every year, the LINX Cargo Care group of companies handles more than 11 million tonnes of bulk products, almost 2 million tonnes of steel and more than 30 million logs. They also transport more than 1 million new vehicles across Australia from shore to door and process more than 500,000 vehicles for many of the region’s largest fleet operators. Owned by global alternative asset manager Brookfield and its investment partners (GIC, bcIMC, QIA), LINX Cargo Care Group has the regional capabilities and global connections to develop innovative, integrated supply chain solutions with sustainable growth opportunities. See also linxcc.com.au
About Brookfield Asset Management
Brookfield is a leading global infrastructure company with over 100 years of owning and operating assets with a focus on property, renewable power, infrastructure and private equity across North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Brookfield owns and operates a portfolio of mixed-use terminals handling over 170 million tonnes of cargo per annum, and an integrated logistics provider, which collectively comprise three landlord ports and logistics operations across Australia, US, Brazil and Europe.
In New Zealand, C3 handles over 16 million tonnes of cargo annually and has more than1400 full time employees. Cargo types include: paper products, pulp, steel, wood processed products, bulk cargo including fertilizer, general cargo and logs. C3 handles these products by way of its marshalling, stevedoring, warehousing, containerisation, and cartage services. The intellectual property developed by C3’s in-house IT team has been instrumental in progressing C3’s innovation. The development of data management and collection through advanced IT processes has been pursued and progressed by C3 to better understand the logistics chain and supply networks within which it operates to enhance C3’s value to them.
Contact for further information:
Piet de Jong
021 812 766