Port Otago is 100% owned by the Otago Regional Council. In line with the company's Statement of corporate intent, Port Otago's principal objective is "to operate as a successful and sustainable business that delivers value to our shareholders in the form of both financial and non-financial returns on investment".
Port Otago employs about 300 people and paid $32.2 million in wages and salaries during 2020/21. Just over $46 million was spent on materials and services and capital projects. The company's $5 billion shipping-related cargo throughput value (i.e. excludes Chalmers Properties) was made up of $4.6 billion exports and $0.4 billion imports, reflecting the export nature of our country and region.
Port Otago is located on the Otago Harbour of the South Island of New Zealand and is the primary export port for the lower South Island. We benefit from a deep natural harbour, a strategic location for vessel rotation to and from deep-sea destinations and a large primary export cargo region. The business also comprises a significant property business, which includes developments in Auckland and Hamilton, as well as Dunedin. Port Chalmers is also the primary South Island port for cruise ships and generally the port of call immediately before or after visiting Fiordland.
Port Chalmers is one of New Zealand’s two deepest container ports and services the largest container ships visiting New Zealand. It can store more than 7000 containers and has one of the highest number of reefer (refrigerated shipping container) points of any New Zealand port, with 1650.
In Dunedin, Port Otago has two wharf-side cold storage facilities, able to hold up to 10,500 tonnes of chilled product. This is used primarily to service fishing customers. There is also significant log activity, including storage, scaling and export.