WASHINGTON: The success of a Port Nelson initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of New Zealand’s growing wine industry, has been recognised with another national award. The company’s “QuayConnect” service has more than halved truck journeys between the port and the country’s largest wine producing region of Marlborough, since it began in February last year. Under the scheme, four trucks are dedicated to transporting empty bottles to Marlborough and full bottles back to the port, meaning trucks no longer travel one leg of the journey empty or only partly full. The transport model had saved 348,436 litres of fuel and 1,602 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in its first year, the company said.
Port Nelson’s CEO Martin Byrne collected the latest award from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in Auckland on Wednesday night. “Port Nelson is the main hub through which the vast majority of [New Zealand] wine travels around the country, and to the world,” said Byrne. “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.” New Zealand’s wine industry has overtaken seafood as the country’s fifth largest export commodity. Wine was an increasing priority as a customer sector, the company’s general manager of business development, Eugene Beneke, said. “As ‘New Zealand’s Wine Port’, it is important that we are close to the majority of New Zealand’s winemakers, while also offering fast and efficient shipping lines to their key markets in Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.”
Port Nelson’s wine-industry related volumes had hit a new high of 204,000 tonnes in the last financial year, breaking the previous year’s record of 178,000 tonnes. Infrastructure like the Patterson Logistics Centre wine storage had meant the company had been able to handle the increased volumes, said Byrne. “When the Patterson Logistics Centre II is completed in December we will be able to hold a further 32,000 pallets.” In June, QuayConnect helped Port Nelson win the Resilience to Climate Change prize in the national 2017 Green Ribbon Awards. The transport model was also a finalist in this year’s 2017 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.