Port Nelson is celebrating today after winning the coveted Resilience to Climate Change category in the national 2017 Green Ribbon Awards for its QuayConnect freight logistics model. The two other finalists were New Zealand Post and Sustainability Trust.
Motivated to reduce fuel consumption and energy use across the company and provide supply chain improvements for customers in the Marlborough wine industry, Port Nelson worked with trucking company Central Express Ltd (CEL), and primarily two 3PL customers – glass bottle manufacturer O-I New Zealand (NZ) and wine bottler WineWorks Marlborough – to set up QuayConnect in February 2016 as a smarter way of distributing goods.
QuayConnect’s model optimises import and export loads, with four dedicated truck and trailers working 24-hours a day moving dry goods (palletised glass wine bottles) from Port Nelson to Marlborough, and bottled wine back to Port Nelson from Marlborough. This compares with the traditional transport model where trucks travel empty on one leg of the journey from ship to producer and back.
Over its first year of operation QuayConnect has reduced truck journeys by more than half between Nelson and Marlborough, which has cut the time that trucks are on the road by 10,000 hours. In total, this sustainable transport model has saved 348,436 litres of fuel and 1,602 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in its first year.
Environment Minister Hon Dr Nick Smith, who presented the Green Ribbon Awards last night at a prestigious ceremony in Wellington, says he’s proud a Green Ribbon Award in the climate resilience category went to an organisation from the top of the South Island.
“I am hugely proud of Port Nelson’s Green Ribbon Award as both the local MP and Environment Minister. It shows the sort of practical and innovative initiatives that can make a real difference to the difficult problems of climate change.
“This transformative logistics model has made such a positive environmental impact in just its first year of operation,” Smith says. “It will be reassuring for wine producers using this award-winning distribution and storage service to know it aligns with their company’s own sustainable values. It sends a clear message to opponents of climate change initiatives, like President Trump, that such projects can make both business and environmental sense.
“Not only has QuayConnect reduced carbon emission levels, I also commend the team for QuayConnect’s critical role supporting New Zealand’s valuable wine sector following the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake,” he says.
Port Nelson CEO Martin Byrne says winning the Green Ribbon Award ahead of two other organisations working equally hard to reduce the impact of climate change is an incredible endorsement of the Port’s work.
“The significant difference QuayConnect has made to the wine transport sector’s energy output is hugely rewarding and we are enormously honoured to have won this award on behalf of the project’s collaborators,” Byrne says.
“CEL, WineWorks Marlborough and O-I NZ also deserve the win as QuayConnect is very much a collaborative service, with all involved investing and changing their processes to create a more efficient and sustainable model for the long-term,” he says.
Following the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, QuayConnect enabled Marlborough winemakers (who produce 75% of the country’s wine) with damaged infrastructure to quickly move their valuable wine to secure storage and onto their New Zealand and international customers through Port Nelson.
CEL Director Jason Millar says the reduction of trucks on the road through QuayConnect, despite the increase in freight on the Marlborough to Nelson route post-earthquake, is remarkable.
“To be involved in a logistics service that has reduced truck hours by 10,000 on a busy tourist and freight road in just its first year is fantastic,” Miller says. “It is an innovative approach to transport logistics and we know now that as the number of customers using QuayConnect increases, we will actually be reducing the number of trucks on the road.”
Wine bottler WineWorks’ Business Innovation Manager Jason Gluer says as a QuayConnect foundation customer he feels the Green Ribbon Award win is a well-deserved accolade for a logistics system that is making a radical reduction to the wine transport sector’s carbon emission levels.
“Port Nelson’s QuayConnect service allows us to handle an increased volume for our wine customers within the same physical footprint while reducing the number of vehicles coming into the facility,” Gluer says. “It is a win-win all round.”
Another QuayConnect foundation customer is O-I NZ. Julie Turnbull, Logistics Manager for O-I NZ says her company prioritises sustainable business practices in everything it does.
“As makers of glass, the world’s most natural and sustainable packaging, O-I NZ has incorporated sustainability into our business practices for more than a century,” Turnbull says. “We are thrilled to have played a part in the development of a Green Ribbon Award-winning freight and logistics service QuayConnect, which will have ongoing environmental benefits for the transport sector.”