Ports of Auckland (POAL) is preparing for the future with a focus on sustainability, and catering for extensive freight growth through optimisation, and automation of their container terminal.

Ports of Auckland (POAL), New Zealand’s largest import container port, has been championing economic and social growth in Auckland, the wider region and entire country for over 175 years.

Beca has maintained a strong relationship with POAL for more than 30 of those years, delivering a range of projects to support the Port’s commitments to sustainability, innovation, improved productivity – and most recently, container terminal automation.

In 2020, the Port will be the first in New Zealand to use automated straddle carriers for loading and unloading trucks and operating the container yard – supported by bigger, faster ship-to-shore cranes.

Standing 82.3m tall, weighing 2100t, and equipped with a 26-kilowatt solar panel array to offset electricity use, the cranes are some of the largest and most high-tech in the world.

We were involved at every step of the new cranes’ procurement and installation (final power/services connections and commissioning by POAL/ZPMC). This included 3D modelling the cranes, overseeing the tendering and discussions with supplier ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Ltd), and the complex relocation of two smaller, 1100t cranes to new positions onsite.

Before the cranes arrived, we were also responsible for the design and construction observation of a new 295m x 33m Fergusson North wharf, and a new 10ha reclamation created from stabilised dredged material (mudcrete) for container stacking.  Further work involved deepening Rangitoto channel (in preparation for the cranes and larger, deeper draft container vessels); upgrading 62,000m2 of terminal pavement; modernising the Port’s reefer yard and gantries; and relocating underground services.

Automation and improving terminal layout will almost double POAL’s capacity. At the same time, these projects will also help make operations more sustainable by reducing fuel use, emissions, noise and light pollution, and keep operating costs down, making imports and exports cheaper.


Ports of Auckland’s history


POAL and Beca relationship


Containers handled in 2017/18

Ports of Auckland's new cranes making their way through Waitematā Harbour. Photo courtesy of Ports of Auckland.
3D model of the new Fergusson North Wharf, overlaid on Google Earth imagery.
3D model of the Ports of Auckland’s new cranes in action.
Auckland's Big Port Move: Giant container cranes shifted to prepare for automation, courtesy Ports of Auckland, first published 30 May 2017.
Ports of Auckland's new cranes making their way through Waitematā Harbour. Photo courtesy of Ports of Auckland.

Our team says

Partnering with Ports of Auckland on a host of different projects over the past three decades - including our most recent collaboration on POAL’s automated and sustainable long-term future - has been hugely satisfying for the team at Beca.

Niksa Sardelic

Technical Director – Civil Engineering

Our client says

Automation and optimisation of our Port infrastructure will give us a significant boost in capacity and productivity, supporting our sustainability goals and ongoing focus on trade, growth and the smooth running of the country’s economy.

Alistair Kirk

General Manager – Infrastructure and Property

Our People

John Wright

Principal - Mechanical Engineering

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Kane Satterthwaite

Principal - Ports & Coastal Engineering

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Niksa Sardelic

Technical Director - Civil Engineering, Transport Infrastructure

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