C3 Limited continuously invests in its people and technology innovations

Port and Forestry logistics company C3 Limited has significantly increased its throughput in the Hawke’s Bay region in the past year, with no sign of things slowing. The Hawke’s Bay site is one of the originals of the company, which dates back to the 1950s, whilst its offices are now across New Zealand and Australia. Its head office is in Tauranga.

C3 carries out log scaling, log marshalling and stevedoring, as well as a range of other services in the port logistics space. Each load is tracked from when it leaves the checkpoint until its final destination. The majority of the products are exported to China or South Korea, and a small amount is taken by sawmills around the region, and other businesses such as a nearby pallet company. The company works with various large forestry exporter companies.

“We have supported our customers through a period of sustained growth, and now we handle over one million jas per year on port,” says John Reuben, Napier Branch Manager. Demand from customers was growing and driving that increase in volume, John said. And demand looked set to keep growing. Logs for the site were predominately sourced from the Hawke’s Bay region. Recently, they received logs from Taupo following Cyclone Gabrielle. John said the forestry industry made a huge contribution to the area. “It’s in the top 10 (industries) for sure. It’s pretty vital for employment.”

The C3 site in Napier employed over 100 staff alone, let alone the workers involved in forestry operations and supporting industries. At C3, there were three main areas of employment, John said: checkpoint, marshalling at the port and stevedoring.

A full vessel can take up to 95 hours to load, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“There’s a good team that we work with at the port. It’s a vital link having the Napier port and the forestry industry working together.”

The company was constantly on the lookout for staff, he said. “(They’re the) main component of the operation, really.” It was important to be well-resourced to manage the hours staff were working. There were a variety of opportunities, starting out working on vessels in stevedoring roles, and moving into driving diggers and operating cranes. C3 is continuing to invest in our people and technology innovations.

“We train them up there so we can keep everybody multi-skilled.” Improvements in technology provide opportunities for our people to up-skill and advance their careers. We have further exciting technology initiatives due to occur in 2024 and beyond. Currently, the company turns around eight to ten vessels a month. A full vessel can take up to 95 hours to load, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In the marshalling area where logs are received, shifts are between 4 am and 11 pm. For some people, they enjoyed the flexibility of days and hours, whilst the remaining ones just enjoyed the lifestyle of working on boats at the port, John said. He himself started at the checkpoint and worked his way up to the marshalling teams. He has been in the industry for close to 30 years. “I always enjoyed handling logs, in the bush pruning them and cutting them down. There was a lot of variety in the work, which made it interesting and challenging.”

“There’s always something different that will happen every day. There’s always a challenge.” The company had a good relationship with the Napier Port, John said. “There’s a good team that we work with at the port. It’s a vital link having the Napier port and the forestry industry working together.”

C3 as a whole continues to grow, starting from a small port-side operation to now being part of the LINX Cargo Care Group with 23 locations in New Zealand and Australia and employing more than 1,400 people across its sites.

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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