Napier Port COVID-19 Response Update – 26 March

New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has declared a nationwide state of national emergency due to COVID-19.

As an essential lifeline service, we’re implementing our business continuity response and are focused on making sure our people stay well, our customers are informed, and essential cargo can continue to flow in and out of the port.

We appreciate that the current situation is very fluid, and so we have put in place a number of measures to provide further clarity for our customers as we are all working through the impacts of the lockdown period.

Import uplift
In order to ensure the continuous flow of essential cargo through the port, we are requesting that all importers make the necessary arrangements to uplift their containers within current free time allowances. This is critically important so that we can avoid congestion and remain operational during the four-week lockdown period and beyond. Napier Port does not have capacity to store containers on port.

Ministry of Transport guidance on essential transport services
The Ministry of Transport has provided updated guidance on essential transport services this afternoon, available in detail here. Further updates are still to come, but at this stage their guidance states that non-essential goods at a port can be transported if “the movement of non-essential goods are required to create space for essential goods and the movement of essential goods within the port and across the supply chain.”  The Ministry of Transport have set up the following email address to address the large number of queries they are receiving –

Seven day container receival window
The seven day container receival window is still in effect and applies to every export container. We are unable to provide any extensions or exceptions to this rule at this time.

We have already informed shipping lines that it is their responsibility to communicate with their customers and ensure they are made aware of changes to vessel schedules. Accordingly, it is the cargo owner’s responsibility to adjust their packing schedules as Napier Port’s receival acceptance window will adjust in line with any vessel schedule changes.

We recommend cargo owners confirm vessel ETA with their shipping line prior to confirming transport arrangements.

Changes to hours of operation
Napier Port hours of operation will be changing from Monday 30 March. These changes are necessary to  reduce virus transmission risk and keep our staff safe. Specifically, these changes will allow our teams to clean equipment prior to shift changes and avoid team crossover from one shift to another.

VBS booking slots will be adjusted to reflect the new hours of operation as follows:

Napier Port hours of operation (effective from Monday 30 March)

Day Service Container Terminal      Thames St I & II Depots
Monday-Friday     Full service 0800 – 1430 and 1530 – 1730* 0730 – 1800
Late process 1900 – 2000 N/A
Saturday Full service 0730 – 1200 0730 – 1200
Sunday Closed Closed Closed

*Please note: The container terminal and gatehouse will close between 14:30 – 15:30 to allow for shift change.

Keeping you Informed

We’ll be staying in touch as the situation evolves, and will be sending further updates like this. If there’s anyone else in your business who would like to be on our mailing list, please send their name and email to

If you have any questions, please contact our Commercial team on, but bear in mind that they may be busy with many customer enquiries.