Global logistics and transport provide the arteries and life blood for New Zealand’s exporters. We survive and thrive down here at the bottom of the world largely because of our abilities as exporters and traders.
This country’s 14 export ports provide a portal through which New Zealand’s exports must pass efficiently and cost effectively. That is also our challenge here at Port Taranaki, balancing the need to operate a successful export port efficiently and cost effectively while at the same time continuing to operate safely, incorporating the highest standards of training and professionalism. To do this successfully we need to learn from each other, around the globe, about how transport and logistics works to connect each end of our international supply chains.
One organisation which focuses on transport and logistics globally is the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). This organisation was founded in the UK over 100 years ago and has 30 countries as members. As current President of New Zealand CILT, I attended the International Conference in Birmingham in June 2012. I was an opportunity to work on logistics and transport issues from throughout the world. The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne, made a special appearance at the workshops as Patron of the Society.
We live in a very linked-up world today. We are truly becoming a ‘global village’, aided by social networking tools such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. Sharing our experiences has never been quicker or easier. CILT International provides an
organisational structure for transport and logistics professionals around the world. This enables a sharing of knowledge, qualifications between trading nations to be harmonised and experience to be recognised, leading to safer work places as we increasingly work across country borders.
The changing face of world trade was demonstrated at the CILT conference with a strong showing from Africa (particularly Nigeria), and also Asia. The 2013 CILT conference will be held in Sri Lanka.
As the developed world grapples with high unemployment and difficult economic times, a major restructuring of the world order as we have known it in our lifetimes is underway. The high growth areas of the world are now much closer to New Zealand. These high growth areas of Asia, China, India and Africa have some wonderful opportunities in front of them. They also face a number of challenges, including population pressures, environmental degradation, the cost of energy, the cost of food and the availability of fresh water. Some of these challenges of our neighbours are also our challenges and our opportunities.
As a country of just four million people, New Zealand does not have the same population pressures as say South Korea (who squeeze over 60 million people into an area the size of the North Island and 18 million people into their largest city Seoul compared to our 1.5 million people in Auckland).
We also have sound environmental legislation and active regulators such as the Taranaki Regional Council to ensure our environment continues to improve from the sometimes uncontrolled development of earlier generations. We have abundant fresh water in New Zealand and particularly here in Taranaki.
That leaves energy and food costs as two major issues we have in common with our neighbouring trading partners. The cost of a barrel of oil sat at $12-$20 for a number of decades. It now sits around $USD100/ barrel with more upside price potential than downside potential. We live in an energy rich country with huge potential and very few people living in it. Oil must, however, as a finite resource, be just an “energy bridge” to a cleaner fuel future, for example, gas, solar, wind and geothermal. We probably need to be across that “oil bridge” to a safe landing on the other side in the next 100 years. New Zealand needs to use its oil and gas resources wisely over the 21st century to ensure that clean energy infrastructure can be put in place for its citizens of the future.
That is quite a daunting challenge for New Zealanders but less daunting here than in heavily populated zones of the globe.
Port Taranaki is playing an integral part in New Zealand’s energy future by providing skills, expertise and infrastructure to get our petrochemical resources to market so that New Zealanders have the financial means at their disposal to cross the “oil bridge” successfully. The more successful we are at raising development capital now for a clean energy future the quicker we can move as a nation to our desired situation.
The rise of liquefied gas (LNG) as a transport fuel for ships and commercial vehicles also shows great promise for a cleaner energy future. The world’s “gas
bridge” can span as long as 200 to 400 years, based on currently known resource levels. If we can get across that bridge more quickly or develop emissions
capture technology, then all the better for the world’s environment. We live in an exciting and dynamic time in a world of challenge and opportunity. As throughout the course of human history we have to be constantly awake to the threats around us and deal with them as best we can with the tools at our disposal.
The petrochemical industry in Taranaki, Port Taranaki, CILT, the RMA and the Taranaki Regional Council, are just a few of the thousands of the tools in our collective armoury for meeting the challenge and for creating a secure future for New Zealanders.
Chief Executive, Port Taranaki
President, CILT NZ