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Any port in a storm? The impact of new port infrastructure on New Zealand exporter behaviour

Richard Fabling, Arthur Grimes, Lynda Sanderson

This paper investigates the impact of port infrastructure on exporter behaviour, focusing on the opening of Metroport, a new inland port in Auckland. We model adoption of the new port facilities among local firms, and then relate uptake to future export growth performance. We find that the main determinants of uptake are product- and firm-related, rather than location-specific. Firms use the new port infrastructure in conjunction with the existing port in order to mitigate capacity constraints and/or access a greater range of transport options. We take early adoption of Metroport as a signal of an existing capacity constraint and analyse the effect of the new port on subsequent export growth, finding a positive but insignificant impact on export volumes.