The PCTC (Pure Car, Truck Carrier) is a purpose-built vessel for the transportation of different types of rolling cargo such as cars and trucks, heavy construction equipment and other significant loads. These vessels are usually configured with 10-13 decks for the loading of different vehicle types with axle loads from 1.2 tonnes to more than 22 tonnes. The Istra Ace is loading the triboard on the main cargo deck, which is designed for heavy loads, providing the vessel with a ‘backload’ to Japan rather than having to sail the entire route empty.
A fleet of four trucks operating in rotation are driving loads of triboard up the vessel’s stern ramp into the ship where they are being unloaded. There the cargo is stowed and secured by Northport staff and equipment.
Northport chief executive Jon Moore said this unscheduled call demonstrates Northport’s ability to receive and handle car carriers and roll-on/roll-off vessels. “We have been talking to vehicle importers for some years now about how they could restructure and future-proof their business model using Marsden Point as a single hub for vehicle arrival, storage, preparation and distribution,” Mr Moore said.
“We have used our port and harbour simulator to demonstrate how we might handle vessels such as this so we’re looking forward to putting the modelling into practice.”
Northport, situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility catering for large, multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570-metre linear berth.
Logs, woodchip and processed timber for export comprise the bulk of cargo handled by the port. Recent investment in container handling equipment has seen an uptake in coastal and international container trade. The port is owned and operated by Northport Ltd, itself owned jointly and equally by Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd and the Port of Tauranga Ltd.
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