Skip to main content

The region’s gateway to the world  

Port Nelson’s purpose is to facilitate regional prosperity, Kia āhei ki te kōkiri whakamua ki te taumata ā-rohe. 

Port Nelson is the maritime gateway for Te Tauihu – a vital hub for economic activity and a key facilitator of our region’s continued growth and prosperity.

Port Nelson is an international port located in the city of Nelson and is owned by Infrastructure Holdings Ltd which is in turn equally owned by both Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council. The rich history of Port Nelson has helped shape the vibrant ‘gateway to the world’. Early accounts of Wakatū (Nelson) - means a ‘standing place or shelter for canoes’- described the area’s rich history for Māori trading fish and produce. Since the establishment of the Port Nelson Harbour Board in 1901, Port Nelson has welcomed visitors and commercial traders to Te Tauihu and, to this day, continues to respond to its customers’ and community’s needs. The Port handles a wide variety of cargo, including containerised cargo and bulk cargo.

Approximately 67% of Port Nelson’s volumes are exported and 33% are imported. Major export commodities include forestry products (logs, sawn and processed timber), seafood, pip fruit and wine. Port Nelson is the largest seafood processing port in Australasia, supporting and catering to the needs of some of New Zealand’s main seafood companies and associated fishing fleets. The Port also houses one of New Zealand’s largest marine service sectors. Nelson/Tasman is the second-largest apple growing region in the country, with approximately 28% of the total apple crop being grown here and exported around the world. Approximately 70% of New Zealand’s wine is produced in Marlborough, making Port Nelson a vital link in the wine industry’s supply chain. The main import commodities to Port Nelson are fuel and vehicles, both second-hand and new.

Since the Port was established, it has undergone significant expansions and upgrades to accommodate the growing demand for its services. In recent years, Port Nelson has been investing in infrastructure and plant to improve efficiency and capacity. The Port has also focused on diversifying its services, including offering warehousing and logistics services.

Port Nelson creates value for its customers by providing a suite of marine, cargo handling, warehousing, logistics, slipway, and property portfolio services. Marine services include–pilotage, towage, navigation aids, and the berthing, and departure of vessels. The Port operates three tugs and maintains a dredged channel to allow vessels up to 260m in length to access the Port. Cargo handling services include unloading, temporarily storing, and loading many forms of cargo, including containers, logs, cars, fertiliser, cement, methanol, and fuel.

Logistics and warehousing services are provided through our QuayConnect and QuayPack businesses. QuayConnect works with on-site 3PL partner QuayPack to offer integrated transport and third-party logistics (3PL) storage solutions to our customers. The Port utilises 23,000m² of British Retail Consortium accredited storage facilities at the Patterson Logistics Centre, New Zealand’s largest on-port storage facility, and has a dedicated and scheduled trucking service. QuayConnect enables the efficient connection of products to market.

Port Nelson’s scope of services also includes slipway services for vessels up to 2,400t. This facility supports one of New Zealand’s strongest marine engineering clusters. In addition, the Port has over 235,000 m2 of commercial land that it develops and leases to support fishing, marine services, and other export-related industries.