Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question on this page please contact us.

Cargo and Container FAQs

Employment FAQs

Warren Lewis Fishing Jetty FAQs

Cruise Ship FAQs

General FAQs

Property FAQs


Cargo and container FAQs

What is the JMT RIA system?

masterterminal logoThe JMT RIA (Jade Master Terminal Rich Internet Application) provides detailed information about the status of your containers.  You can see basic information about your container by clicking Guest on the login page.  To access more detail and functionality you will need a user account.


How do I get an account for the JMT RIA system?

Email to request an account.


When will my import container start being charged for storage at the Port?

Every import container has a free storage period of three days after the day of vessel departure. This free storage period will include a minimum of two clear business days. After the free storage period ends, any chargeable days will include weekends and public holidays.

To find out when your specific container will begin incurring storage charge:

  1. Determine which voyage your container arrived on using the JMT RIA
  2. Refer to the Demurrage Schedule to see when containers from that voyage will be charged.  In particular check the Storage_Starts column for the relevant voyage.


How can I find information about my container while it is at Port Otago?

If you know your container ID you can check the status on our website here. If you have an account you can view more detailed information using the JMT RIA system.
Contact Customer Services for help.


What do the stops codes mean?



Customs Docs Imp. This is a New Zealand Customs stop. This may be removed automatically by Customs or Port Otago can remove the stop on presentation of a Customs Delivery Order.
Customs Exports CEDO Stop This is a Customs Export Delivery Order stop. This stop is applied to all export containers with an overseas discharge port as soon as it arrives at Port Otago. If the container has an overseas discharge port but is not showing a CEDO stop, this means the stop has been cleared.
Customs Held Cargo Specifically used by Customs  as required if cargo  is held for other reason  outside of Customs Import Doc, Customs Export Cedo, & Customs Scan Insp Exp/Imports
Customs Scan Insp Exp/Imports Stopped requiring a Customs X-Ray/ Scan Inspection 
Import Storage Outstanding dues for storage by the party taking the cost by emailing Customer Services
Intended Offsite Internal Terminal Stop on Full/MT Ctnr  held for  External Delivery 
MPI 6 Sided Inspection Cargo held until MPI 6 sided Inspection has been performed, normally applied by POE terminal.
MPI BACC This is an MPI stop. It must be removed by MPI unless the Customs paperwork for the container(s) has the phrase "MPI clearance given to move from wharf to an ATF" in which case Port Otago can remove the stop on presentation of the Customs Delivery Order.
MPI Door Inspection Cargo held for an MPI internal Inspection  
Operator Cargo held by the Container Operator for reasons other than Operator Doc, Operator Doc & Pin Stops.  
Operator Docs Port Otago requires notification from the shipping company before we can remove their stop.
Operator Docs & Pin The Container Operator issues their delivery pin number to the Importer, who passes this on to their Transport /Carrier . We require the Transport/Carrier to supply the PIN to access the container from the terminal.
Repack Cargo held for (FCL container) a container repack, normally used for full containers returning to Exporter/packpoint.  To apply this stop notification must be received from the Container Operator.  
Safety Cargo or container is deemed unsafe, or has a health and safety issue. Internal Stop used by Port Otago.
SEP Export Secure Export Partnership Stop, normally applied to cargo received from NON-Secure Export Partnership packpoints/exporters  .
Surveyed Stop is used in cases where Box operator requires an annual structural  inspection due to  expiry of ISO Certificates 
Terminal Internal stop used by Port Otago staff to hold the container on site. Container remarks will explain the reason for this stop being used. 
To Be Inspected Container/cargo stop, Inspection stop may be applied by either Port Otago staff or boarder control staff to import containers. This stop is removed once the inspection has been completed. 


How can I check the CEDO status for my containers?

Please read the following tipsheet for detailed steps to see the CEDO status:

Tipsheet - Checking container CEDOs on the Port Otago website.pdf


Container Weighing (SOLAS) and VGM

For information on Container Weighing, VGM, and VERMAS please see the following page:

Container Weighing and VGM at Port Otago



Employment FAQs

How does Port Otago’s recruitment process work?

Port Otago uses an online recruitment system called QJumpers. All applications need to be made online, so they can be automatically viewed by our hiring team.

What should I include in my job application?

  1. Port Otago Employment Application Form
  2. Cover letter
  3. Up-to-date CV which includes details of qualifications applicable to the role

The questions in our Port Otago Employment Application Form help us determine candidate suitability for specific roles. The form also acts as a disclosure information form for fitness to work and criminal convictions. Port Otago is covered by the Maritime Security Act (2004), so criminal background is relevant.

What if I have trouble with my online application?

If you are having difficulty attaching a document as part of your application, check your file is (a) not too large or (b) in a supported format. To reduce the file size, remove any pictures in your CV and save it as one of the following:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Works (.wps)
  • Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
  • Text file (.txt)

Tip: Complete your job application in one go to avoid any time-out errors.

If you have any other technical issues, phone Port Otago Head Office on 03 472 7890 and ask for the People Team. We will work with you to get your application through to us.

How long until I am contacted after applying for a job?

Once applications have closed for a role, our hiring team reviews all applications, as quickly as possible. Please check your phone and emails regularly.

Can I apply for more than one job at once?

Yes. The online application process allows us to track individuals with multiple job applications. We can then help you explore each opportunity.

How do I know if my application has been received?

You will receive a confirmation email from the recruitment management system, QJumpers.

What happens if I am unsuccessful?

You will be notified by email. In many cases, due to the high volume of applications, we cannot provide individual feedback. Don’t be discouraged. Please do apply for any future Port Otago roles you believe match your skills and experience.

How will I know if I’m short-listed?

A People Team representative will contact you by phone or email to discuss the role with you, and your experience and expectations. You may then be invited to come on-site for an interview and/or a job-specific assessment (if relevant).

Will there be an on-site interview?

Yes. All Port Otago roles involve a formal interview and selection process.
The recruitment process will be discussed with you at shortlisting stage. It starts with a People Team representative briefing you on how the interview will be conducted and who will be present. (To prepare for the interview, use the position description document.)
If you are applying for a role that involves operating machinery, you will undertake a ‘Dover Assessment’. This computer-based assessment looks at eye-hand coordination, reactions to stimuli in various environmental conditions, time and motion, reaction times, etc.
There may also be practical assessments or psychometric assessments to ensure your suitability for the role.
The final step involves meeting your General Manager and the Chief Executive. This ensures we are bringing the right people into Port Otago – people who will be a great team fit, share our values, and have a genuine commitment to Health and Safety.

What happens if I am unable to attend my interview or want to withdraw my application?

Please contact the People Team as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend your interview due to unforeseen circumstances, we will try to reschedule a new time.

How should I prepare for referee checks?

If you reach this stage, it is likely you are a preferred candidate and we will need to confirm your employment history, performance and work style.
At that point, we will request your permission to contact at least two referees. These referees must be your current or past direct managers.
You will need to check with your referees that they are happy for us to contact them.

What other background checks will you do?

  1. Pre-Employment medical and drug and alcohol checks
  2. Pre-Employment check of ACC Claims History
  3. Qualification check
  4. Driver's Licence check
  5. Criminal Convictions check

Any information obtained will be fact checked with you for accuracy.
Please note: We encourage all applicants to provide accurate information during the recruitment process. If you provide misleading or false information, your application won’t be progressed any further.

Job offer

A contract pack, including all your pre-employment documents, will be provided to you for you to review, sign and return to the People Team.


Warren Lewis Fishing Jetty FAQs

Who can use the Warren Lewis Fishing Jetty?

When the gate is open, the jetty is available for all to use. People are expected to share the facilities with others. Please note, the jetty is not for “commercial fishing”.

What are the expectations around use of the jetty?

  • The jetty should not be obstructed (i.e. a wheelchair should be able to get through to the end)
  • Rod holders should be used where possible
  • Access ways should not be obstructed with fishing gear or other objects
  • Bench seats should only be used for sitting on
  • People may not bring any vehicles onto the jetty
  • Rubbish is to be disposed of in the bin
  • Bait should only be cut on the blocks provided


Is it OK to have dogs on the track or jetty?

Yes, but they must be controlled and faeces removed.

Is it OK to play music on the jetty?

Yes, as long as this does not cause a nuisance to others, including our neighbours across the harbour.

Can you use bright lights to attract fish?

No. This would breach the District Plan rules and can also cause problems for our pilots guiding large vessels up the channel. Low-level amenity lighting such as headlamps and the lights provided by the Port are OK.

Can you use generators on the jetty?

No. Generators cause noise that can carry across the harbour and annoy our neighbours.

Why is diving off the jetty forbidden?

The jetty borders on the shipping channel and turning basin, where strong currents exist. People can easily get pulled under the wharves, into the path of vessels or out to sea.

Why is the Boiler Point Track and Warren Lewis Fishing Jetty closed during forecast high winds?

Containers stacked along the perimeter of the terminal may shift during high winds and could fall off the stack. To find out whether the gate is open see our Facebook page.

Who should be contacted if there are any problems at the jetty?

In the first instance call Port Otago on (03) 472 9877. In the event of an emergency, call 111.

How big is the jetty?

The total length is 55 metres, ranging from 2m to 3m wide. The jetty sits on five steel piles extending about 20m into the harbour floor.

How deep is the water around the end of the jetty?

It ranges from around 5 to 7 metres depending on tide.



Cruise Ship FAQs

Where is the Cruise Ship Terminal located?

Port Otago operates a cruise terminal at Port Chalmers during the Cruise Ship season to accommodate passengers’ needs.  The majority of Cruise Ships berth at Port Chalmers but smaller Cruise Ships can berth in Dunedin.

Please check the Cruise Ship Schedule to see where your Cruise Ship will be berthing.


How far is Dunedin Airport from the Cruise Ship Terminal?

The Dunedin International Airport is 40km from Port Chalmers. It takes approximately 45 minutes by car, taxi or shuttle.

If I arrive on a cruise ship, where can I find public transport?

Bus stops are situated on the main street of Port Chalmers, 100 metres from the berths. Please refer to the bus time schedules on the Otago regional Council (ORC) website.

Where can I find information about arriving and departing cruise vessels?

Please see the Cruise Ship Schedule.

Am I able to drive on to the Port Chalmers terminal to collect passengers within the terminal?

No - due to the Maritime Security Act 2004 and the Customs and Excise Act 1996, public access to the working areas of the port is restricted to those on Port business.


Am I able to contact my family member/friend who is aboard the cruise ship?

You will be able to contact your family member/friend if they have a cellular phone. There is no direct communication available with the ship itself.


Where do I meet people who are disembarking the ship?

At Port Chalmers there is only one passenger exit and this is outside A Shed. This is indicated by the signage outside the terminal.


Am I able to pick up family/friends from the ship itself?

No - due to the Maritime Security Act 2004 and the Customs and Excise Act 1996, public access to the working areas of the port is restricted to those on port business. Safety and security measures mean that access to the ships is restricted to staff, passengers and crew only. Members of the public meeting passengers can do so outside of these working and restricted areas.


Where is the best place to view the arrival or departure of a cruise ship?

Any of the Port Chalmers lookouts will give good views of the ship. 


Where can I find information on what to do in Dunedin and Otago?

When you arrive you can visit the i-Site on-wharf at Port Chalmers, or in the city centre in Dunedin (the Octagon). For more information about what to do in Dunedin and what is on during your visit check out

I'm a tourism operator, what do I need to do before I can access the Port and Cruise Ships?

Please see our Tour Operators page for relevant forms, procedures and guidelines.



General FAQs

How many ships visit Port Otago per year? 

461 vessels called at Port Otago for the year ended 30 June 2016.


How much cargo moves through the Port? 

For the year ended 30 June 2016 Port Otago had 172,400 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) and 1,408,000 tonnes of conventional cargo moved across wharves.

What are the major types of cargo? 

Meat and Dairy exports account for approximately 62% of the Port’s exports. 


What is the largest vessel Port Otago could accommodate? 

The largest container vessel handled to date was the Maersk Detroit - LOA: 294.1m, Beam: 32.2m, Draft: 13m (but max draft sailed ex Port Chalmers 12.5m), TEU: 5500 TEU.

The largest cruise ship to have called at Port Chalmers so far is the Ovation of the Seas (348m length and 168,000 gross tonnes).


How many tugs does Port Otago have?

Port Otago owns three tugs: the Otago, the Taiaroa and the Arihi. Read more on the Port Otago Vessels page. 


What is a Pilot and how do they board vessels?

A Pilot is a qualified vessel master whose job is to board a vessel prior to it arriving at the Port, and guide the vessel into Port safely. The Pilot is transferred to the vessel via a pilot launch, and boards the vessel using a certified ladder hung from the side of the vessel. 


How many staff are employed by Port Otago?

310 full-time permanent staff.


How many cranes does Port Otago have?

Port Otago operates two gantry cranes at Port Chalmers.


When was the Port first established?

Please read about the Port's History.


When is the Port open? 

The Port is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

What is the average length of time a vessel stays at the Port? 

Log vessels approximately 2-3 days.

Container vessels approximately 10-16 hours.

General vessels approximately 2 days.

Cruise vessels approximately 10 hours. 



Property FAQs

For information on Port Otago properties please refer to the Chalmers Properties website.