…Long truck and trailer units loaded with perfectly straight radiata pine logs, rumbling along the highway between Hawera and New Plymouth. I often wonder what hillside they’ve been plucked from and where they’re destined. The majority end up stacked in back-to-back piles lining the wharf at the Port of Taranaki. Logs are a growing business for the ratepayer-owned port and they’re rolling in and out in record numbers. That’s meant the port has had to adapt its operations to meet the needs of its forestry customers. According to the port’s 2016 annual report, 357,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard tonnage) were exported during that financial year. That was well up on the 209,000 JAS shipped overseas in 2015. As a result, log revenue soared 80 per cent, which helped offset a fall in commodity imports and exports. That growth is showing no sign of easing. According to the Port of Taranaki’s latest annual report, its “log business continues to grow exponentially”.