Customer Focus: Port News: 5 years on, MOU between LPC and SIPUWG continues to deliver collaboration and progress

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) and the South Island Port User Working Group (SIPUWG) in October 2019 continues to be a testament to LPC’s commitment to open communication and mutual growth.

Over the past five years, this working group has evolved significantly. Moving from addressing immediate concerns to adopting a strategic approach, LPC and SIPUWG have tackled the complexities of freight movement with a unified vision.

Simon Munt, LPC’s Chief Customer and Supply Chain Officer, highlighted the positive impact of the working group.

“As the gateway for essential goods that keep Canterbury and the South Island thriving, ensuring seamless cargo movement at our port is crucial,” said Munt.

“We appreciate the ongoing commitment to continuous improvement from all members of SIPWUG, CBAFF, and KiwiRail.”

“At LPC, we understand that the road transport operators, who manage 80% of the freight movements through our port, are vital to our joint success. Enhancing health and safety, improving communication, and boosting productivity are not just goals but a shared mission for the benefit of our customers.”

LPC has responded to port user feedback by implementing changes such as providing preset slots to frequent users and revising charge structures. These adjustments have reduced dispatcher stress and optimised slot availability, benefiting all users.

The introduction of Sunday operations at City Depot has been transformative for operations,
enabling better coordination of container activities and enhancing overall productivity.
“We value the feedback and are committed to exploring further extensions to operational hours,” noted Munt.

Jonathan Ward, Chairman of SIPWUG, acknowledged the productivity gains. “We’ve seen tangible improvements for all parties involved,” said Ward. “While there is more work to be done, the spirit of cooperation and the collective drive for excellence are palpable.”

“The workshops hosted by the port have been instrumental in improving communication and
fostering stronger relationships,” said Jonathon Ward.

“Regular engagement like this is essential to adapt to staff changes and reinforce our
partnerships,” added Ward.

Steve Pugh, Executive Council Member of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders
Federation of New Zealand (CBAFF), acknowledged the productive and continued
communication via the SIPUWG with LPC.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute to the engagement and positive outcomes this has
produced,” said Steve Pugh.

“CBAFF agrees that whilst there is still work to do, the regular engagement is critical to ensuring positive and cost-effective outcomes for all parties involved,” Pugh added.

“LPC is deeply appreciative of the work we have being part of with SIPWUG, CBAFF, and KiwiRail over the last five years,” said Simon Munt.

“Their dedication to progress resonates with our vision of a collaborative and prosperous future for all.”

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