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Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second largest container shipping line, has announced plans to start a new Oceania Express Service with the Port of Tauranga as it s only New Zealand port call.

The new Oceania Express service’s route will be: Melbourne-Sydney- Brisbane-Tauranga-Balboa-Long Beach-Melbourne with a 14-day frequency cycle.

MSC s national operations director Mark Godfrey says: “MSC has recognised the Port of Tauranga as a major New Zealand hub, and we plan to trans-ship cargo from six other New Zealand ports utilising our three other services currently operating in New Zealand (Capricorn, Kiwi and Pacific Island services).

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said MSC’s announcement is fantastic news. “We are delighted that MSC have chosen Tauranga as their New Zealand hub port and this announcement provides another tangible example of the structural change that is occurring in the New Zealand port sector.”

“We are undertaking significant capital expenditure at the container terminal over the next few years to ensure that we continue to provide our customers with world class levels of productivity.”

MSC’s Oceania Express service will commence in October and along with the five other new services recently announced we now forecast container volumes to increase by approximately 20-25%, compared to year ended June 2011, with approximately 40% of this increase being attributed to transhipped cargo.”

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