Win/Win for Nelson with emissions-saving logistics

Dave MacIntyre
Dave MacIntyre
Nelson's QuayConnect service uses dedicated trucks and trailers
Nelson's QuayConnect service uses dedicated trucks and trailers
Palletised wine being readied for export
Palletised wine being readied for export
Port Nelson, New Zealand
Port Nelson, New Zealand

How can ports come up with innovative win/win solutions with their customers to cut emissions? asks Dave MacIntyre.

Perhaps a good yardstick can be found at the New Zealand port of Nelson, which has teamed with customers in the transport and logistics sectors to reduce the carbon footprint of New Zealand's wine industry – the country’s fifth-largest export commodity.

Nelson is situated at the top of the South Island, in one of the country’s main wine-producing areas, and spotted a logistics synergy between the flow of export bottled wine and the demand for empty bottles needed by vineyards.

So it created QuayConnect to optimise wine-related import and export loads. Four dedicated trucks and trailers work 24 hours a day moving dry goods (palletised wine bottles) from Port Nelson to Marlborough, and bringing bottled wine back to the port.

Reduced trips

Traditionally, trucks travelled empty or only partly full on one leg of the journey from ship to producer and back.

Over its first year of operation QuayConnect reduced truck journeys by more than half between Nelson and Marlborough, cutting the time that trucks were on the road by 10,000 hours.

In total, this sustainable transport model saved 348,436 litres of fuel and 1,602 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Sustainable wine

Port Nelson chief executive Martin Byrne says the difference the service is making to the country’s wine industry is incredibly rewarding.

“Marlborough and Nelson/Tasman combined make up more than 80% of New Zealand’s wine and account for more than NZ$1.5 billion of the country’s total wine exports. Port Nelson is the main hub through which the vast majority of this wine travels around the country, and to the world.

“Sustainability is an important strand to the New Zealand wine brand story, so playing our part in reducing the carbon footprint of the country’s wine industry while dramatically improving logistics efficiency, is extremely important to us.”

The success of QuayConnect has been rewarded. It won the coveted Resilience to Climate Change category in the New Zealand 2017 Green Ribbon Awards and was also a finalist in the 2017 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

A third accolade came recently when it won a New Zealand Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)’s award for innovation.

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