The Port of Tauranga has gained ownership of Hercules/OnTap, a transport and logistics software package that was originally developed in 1997 and has been through several changes of ownership since then.
The Port purchased the application for $4 million earlier this year, at the same time as it acquired trucking firm Tapper Transport.
The purchase is noted in the Port’s financial results for the year to June 2010, which were released last month.
After noting the Tapper Transport buy, which was finalised on April 1, the report says: “The Group also purchased the Hercules/OnTap cargo tracking software system and all the rights relating to this software in Australasia from Point Software Ltd”.
Point Software is a company controlled by Tapper family interests, and was the entity through which Hercules/OnTap had been owned since the early 2000s, when original development partner QED Software went into liquidation.
The application was originally developed in partnership between QED and Tapper Transport in 1997. When QED struck financial difficulties in 2001 a dispute over ownership arose between it and Tapper Transport.
After QED went into liquidation in 2002, ownership passed to Point Software.
The Port of Tauranga June 2010 report notes: “The Hercules/OnTap cargo tracking system is the core operating system used by the Tapper Group.
“Subsequent to acquisition, the software and rights have been sold to Tapper Transport Ltd.”
The transfer of ownership went like this: Port of Tauranga bought the rights to Hercules/OnTap from Point Software, and then Tapper Transport, by then owned by the Port of Tauranga, bought the package from the Port of Tauranga, in what is listed as a related-party transaction in the Port of Tauranga June 2010 report.
Port of Tauranga chief financial officer Steve Gray says the company aims to use Hercules/OnTap to “maintain Tapper Transport’s competitive edge in the Auckland market”. Tapper operates a freight hub and warehouse system next to the Port of Tauranga’s MetroPort facility in south Auckland. Expanding its Auckland business has long been a goal of the Port of Tauranga.
Hercules/On Tap is also used by two other local companies, Cubic Transport and Hilton Haulage.