Surge in demand for export logs results in increased forestry rail traffic in lower North Island

04 June 2013 1:01PM

Heavier and longer freight trains are now travelling around the lower North Island due to a growing international demand for export logs.

Over the past three years KiwiRail has increased its log fleet by almost a third to meet this surging overseas demand.

KiwiRail Freight’s bulk and forestry manager Steve Muir says there have been large volumes of logs going to China for some years now, but the economic recovery underway in North America is reducing Canadian log exports further helping NZ log exporters into China. 

“With forests around the North Island now reaching maturation, we can expect the growth in this part of our business to continue for some time,” Steve says.

Forty eight new log wagons are currently being assembled at KiwiRail’s Kinleith depot to meet this surging demand.

Twenty six of the new wagons will be deployed in the lower North Island, where the establishment of log hubs in Palmerston North, Wanganui and Masterton has seen new customers move to rail, with export logs moving to the ports at Napier and Wellington.

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