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3 June 2022

Vision for a Marlborough Inland Port becomes reality

The long-awaited opportunity to develop a consolidated hub to support logistics for the primary industries of the Marlborough region has been progressed with the announcement that QuayConnect, the logistics Division of Port Nelson, will develop an inland port at Riverlands, south of Blenheim.

Jaron McLeod, the GM of QuayConnect, says, “ Marlborough Importers and exporters will be better served with a facility on their doorstep offering container and product storage and warehousing connected to an established logistics service.”  

The ‘Marlborough Inland Port’ will be located immediately adjacent to New Zealand’s largest wine bottler, WineWorks Marlborough. This will enable the efficient transfer of stock to and from the bottling plant and the use of electric tugs to reduce emissions. The Inland Port will also have storage capacity for empty and full containers, tanker and tank container (ISO) wash facilities and repairs.  

The key requirement in any logistics supply chain is to remove waste. The supply chain established by QuayConnect moves empty wine bottles in trucks from Port Nelson, after they have been devanned from containers, to Blenheim bottling facilities, and the trucks return with a full load of export wine. This system, established in 2017, saves approximately 1,600 tonnes of carbon a year from reduced truck movements.

In a similar fashion, QuayConnect established a bulk wine loop for a major Marlborough exporter that sees full ISO tank containers of wine exported from Marlborough through Port Nelson to Australia and then returned full with Australian wine for packaging in Marlborough. These supply chains are made more important due to quality issues moving empty wine bottles and bulk wine in containers on rail and historic resilience and reliability issues travelling north and south from Marlborough.

The Inland Port, like the QuayConnect logistics chain, has only been possible due to collaboration within the industry.  

Central Express Limited (CEL) is a key transport partner to both QuayConnect and the wider Marlborough wine industry and will be a tenant on the Inland Port facility. 

Jason Millar, Managing Director of CEL, says, “In an ever-changing environment, we are excited about the opportunity of the Marlborough Inland Port. It will provide connectivity and add resilience to supply chains, giving confidence to exporters in the top of the south. It is another example of QuayConnect and CEL’s collaboration with industry to provide solutions and confidence.”

Proximity and partnership with WineWorks has been key as noted by CEO Peter Crowe: “The Marlborough Inland Port will be a real asset not only to the Wine Industry but also the wider Marlborough community.  WineWorks is excited to further enhance our partnership with QuayConnect through the utilisation of the Inland Port, ensuring our clients resilient, sustainable and cost-effective options for getting Wine to the World.” 

The initial phase of the Marlborough Inland Port is on a 1.4-hectare site with 2.6-hectares immediately adjacent reserved for future development.  The Inland Port will contain 5,000m² of warehousing for storage and packing and a facility for container operations and storage.  The facility is planned to be completed by the end of 2023.

For Port Nelson, this development is part of a wider supply chain strategy to further build efficiencies and responsiveness for Marlborough’s importers and exporters so they can continue to be price competitive on the global market with their world-class products.