Responding to importers' calls for help, Northport is talking to shipping lines about how it could ease Auckland's port imports logjam, a predicament it says highlights Northland's importance in a strong supply chain.
Chairman Murray Jagger said the natural, deepwater port south of Whangarei has the capability now, and the potential for growth, to support a resilient upper North Island freight network and that's been reinforced by the congestion at Auckland and its spillover to the Port of Tauranga.
Container service at Ports of Auckland continues to be "severely degraded with major delays" according to its website. It also advised the Auckland Council-owned port's vexed, half-implemented automation system had been suspended on Friday due to issues, the Herald reports.
Last week ships were waiting up to 10 days to be unloaded at the country's main import port, while ships avoiding Auckland were offloading imports at Port of Tauranga, New Zealand's main export port as it dealt with its busy season.
Jagger says despite having a smaller container terminal than Auckland's, they're willing to take some ships.
"If there is a way in which we can assist, all stops will be pulled out to make something happen."
He says there's a window of opportunity to start growing a second import port in Northland.
"What this has done is identify the need for a resilient North Island supply chain."