Recently, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) announced that, with container volumes forecast to grow to a record rates; it is committing an additional $16 million investment (including a gantry crane) into its main terminal. The significant investment comes soon after a breakthrough in talks with the port’s insurers. Late last month LPC signaled a resumption of dividends next year after a breakthrough in a two-year deadlock between it and insurers over a massive earthquake repair claim.
In addition, LPC shares shot higher last month, prompted in part by a recent upgrade by the NZX-listed company to its profit forecast. Lyttelton Port of Christchurch yesterday announced a fourth ship-to-shore gantry crane to handle the growing container volumes at the port. Furthermore the port said it would also expand its fleet of straddle carriers by investing in another four new diesel-electric straddles, to increase its fleet from 18 to 22. For this financial year to June 30, the port anticipated container volumes of 350,000 TEUs, which would represent a record total, surpassing the previous record 330,000 TEUs in the 12 months to June 30, 2012. Additionally, LPC’s chief executive believes that container demand will continue to grow, increasing 15.6 per cent over last year’s figures (2012) and by approximately 22 percent over traffic from the last two years.
The company’s strong performance is proof of the continued underlying strength of the Canterbury economy which has continued to generate strong growth in exports and imports. Canterbury was a strong regional economy, with commodity exports, such as dry and refrigerated dairy, frozen meat and vegetables, forecast to keep rising. Imports were also rising, and are tipped to increase over the long-term as Christchurch rebuilds after the 2010-2011 earthquakes. LPC is one of the few container investment companies that are growing at a record pace, thus it is only fair to assume that the industry is booming itself, and is very wise to considering investing in the container industry at the moment. As the sector continues to expand, investors can expect to see more and more investment opportunities and even larger return on investment.