Record apple exports at Napier Port

It has been a bumper year for the apple industry, with export volumes soaring at Napier Port.

A record 22,205 twenty-foot containers of apple exports were shipped from Napier Port over the course of the season, an increase of 8.5% on the volume exported in 2015.

“Despite a late start to the season and a shortage of pickers, it has been a record harvest for our local growers. Exports through Napier Port were up by more than 2000 twenty-foot containers on last season,” said Napier Port CEO Garth Cowie. “It’s great news for the pipfruit industry, and for the Hawke’s Bay economy.”

Export volumes are only expected to grow, with a significant programme of planting underway across the region.

“The pipfruit industry has set a target of achieving $1 billion in exports by 2020 and is well on the way toward achieving that. That’s projected to translate into approximately 35,000 twenty-foot containers for export by 2025,” said Mr Cowie.

“This represents significant growth since 2008, when we exported just 12,936 containers of apples through Napier Port.”

The port has invested and is continuing to invest in preparation for the forecast growth. This has included an offsite depot for empty containers, a vehicle booking system, new mobile harbour cranes, container handlers capable of lifting two containers at once, and added capacity for storing refrigerated cargo.

Napier Port is also consulting on plans to build another wharf along the northern side of its container terminal.

“We have already made significant investments to boost capacity and productivity, but in the peak season there is a maximum capacity our main container berth can handle,” Mr Cowie said. “Adding another wharf will ensure we are able to handle the projected volume growth in the future and allow for larger vessels as part of shipping lines’ rotation through Napier Port.”

“Napier Port is a critical link between our local producers and world markets, and future-proofing that link is vital for our regional economy.”


  • Napier Port is the Central North Island’s leading international port and Hawke’s Bay’s gateway to the world.
  • Napier Port is a crucial part of the wider region’s infrastructure and export economy, with 14 different international container lines operating through the port.
  • Napier Port processed over 4 million tonnes of cargo in 2015, including more than 250,000 TEU containers and 1.1 million tonnes of logs.
  • Ports across the world measure their container volumes in TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), which are the smaller containers you see on port.
  • In 2015, Napier Port directly generated 526 jobs in Hawke’s Bay and another 27,171 through stevedoring, cruise ship and exporter activity. 38% of the regional workforce are in jobs directly or indirectly related to Napier Port.
  • Napier Port activities are associated with more than $3.4b or 51% of Hawke’s Bay’s Gross Regional Product. By 2025, the port is forecast to be associated with $4.7b or an estimated 52% of Hawke’s Bay GRP.
  • With export demand climbing steadily, Napier Port is currently planning to develop a new wharf to accommodate larger ships and cargo demand. For more information on the proposed development, click here