Car and truck carrier ties up at Northport

February 16, 2022

We've welcomed an unfamiliar visitor to Northport today. She's the m.v. Istra Ace and she's calling in from South America on her way to Japan to pick up a load of about 5,000 cubic metres of triboard from the Juken Mill in Kaitaia. She's scheduled to depart Northport late tomorrow or early Friday.

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.

We're delighted about this unscheduled call as it demonstrates our ability to receive and handle car carriers and roll-on/roll-off vessels. We've 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. We've used our port and harbour simulator to demonstrate how we might handle vessels such as this so we’re enjoying putting the modelling into practice.