Port Congestion

18 November 2021


Port congestion impacting some exporters

We are continuing to see examples where trains carrying export containers are unable to be discharged due to space constraints on-port.   

This is a frustration for us all as we deal with rework and incur additional costs.


Some tips and checks to avoid additional costs and rework:

  • Checking the latest vessel arrival times published by each Ship Co
  • Rail bookings timed to meet the relevant (adjusted) port acceptance dates
  • If necessary, call KiwiRail to discuss temporary storage at one of our Container Terminal sites pending transport for port acceptance and the associated costs for this service.


Additional costs that might be incurred include:

  • Extra rail legs to move the container from the port of refusal to the nearest KiwiRail Container Terminal facility (and back again when required)
  • All lifts associated with handling of the containers
  • Storage costs for the period the containers are at the Container Terminal
  • Reefer management and compliance checks, including provision of power (if required);
  • Any third-party reefer costs required to conduct temperature checks after hours where a Container Terminal isn’t open 24/7


All affected freight payers are welcome to make their own arrangements regards temporary, alternative storage, but please note that all costs for any extra activity that KiwiRail is required to provide in the interim, will still need to be paid for.


Capacity to hold containers at our Container Terminals is limited, please discuss with us as soon as you know that port acceptance won’t be permitted.


Please brief your teams and if you have any queries, please do get in touch with your Key Account Executive, or contact our Customer Service Centre on (0800) 351-351 and they will be happy to help you.


Kind regards

Alan Piper

Executive General Manager - Sales and Commercial