The issue around ports has been a hot topic of late. Recently I stumbled across some data about our ports which I found interesting so thought I would share. The data contains history of imports and exports from each port (sea and air) by both weight and dollar value. Note, this originally comes from Stats NZ and I’ve excluded a few ports as the numbers were so small they didn’t register on the graphs.
Imports and Exports by weight
This graph looks at the data by port for the last year. The first and most noticeable thing you can see that Tauranga absolutely dominates exports with it close to four times the next highest (New Plymouth). Ports of Auckland are quite far down that export list but are much stronger on imports where they’re only second to Whangarei with all the bulk fuel.
Imports and Exports by Value
Not all goods are the same though and many have high volumes of exports are exporting bulk goods like logs. As such, the value graph looks quite different. By total value of goods passing through them, the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga are very similar ($27.9b vs $26.5b). One huge mover in this space is the Auckland Airport which sees a lot higher value goods passing through.
Imports – change over time
Given the data also contains a history of the values above, seeing how they’ve changed over time is interesting too. For these graphs I’ve picked the five biggest ports by dollar value. When looking at the change in volumes by weight you can see Tauranga clearly picking up in the early 2000s and Lyttleton picking up following the earthquakes.
When looking at imports by value you can see a big jump a few years ago at Ports of Auckland. This possibly represents the big increase in imported cars that have been flowing through. At the same time, the drop in Whangarei will reflect the reduce price of fuel
Exports – change over time
For exports again, I’ve used the same ports as above. Tauranga stands out when looking at the change in exports by weight, having more than doubled in the last decade. Whangarei has also been increasing noticeably which will be a reflection of the logs being shipped from Northport.
When looking at value, the particularly noticeable change is between ports of Auckland and Tauranga. That will likely be the result of Auckland losing a Maresk service as a result of industrial action at the time.
Overall some interesting figures. What do you make of them?