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Pacifica Shipping is introducing a second vessel onto its New Zealand coastal shipping service, which is expected to be operational mid-September this year.

The vessel will add 1,300TEU extra capacity every week and will complement the existing coastal service provided by Pacifica Shipping’s MV Moana Chief, a 1,700TEU ship, which has been operating since August 2019.

Country Manager for Pacifica Shipping and Swire Shipping New Zealand, Brodie Stevens, says the service coverage of the new vessel will improve the frequency for the core trade from Auckland / Tauranga to Lyttelton to twice a week, offering a viable alternative to other transport modes on the inter-island trade.

He pointed out that coverage for the regional ports will also improve to a weekly for Nelson and fortnightly for Timaru and Marsden Point. This has been a significant challenge to regional exporters during the COVID-19 pandemic, with international shipping lines reducing port calls into regional ports due to supply chain disruptions.

“As New Zealand’s domestic transport is forecast to grow substantially over the next two decades, we are determined to meet that demand by increasing the frequency and capacity of our inter-island domestic freight service, as well as international trans-shipment cargo demand,” Stevens said.

He referenced Ministry of Transport data projections, showing freight volumes will increase a further 11% in the next 10 years and 40% by 2053.

Pacifica Shipping is also strongly advocating coastal shipping as a means for New Zealand businesses to consider how to utilise more sustainable options in their supply chain. Coastal shipping supports the New Zealand government’s policy to cut transport CO2 emissions.

“Moving substantially more inter-island freight by coastal shipping is estimated to enable savings of 66,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, compared to moving cargo by road transport,” Stevens added.

In addition, coastal shipping brings resilience to New Zealand‘s supply chain in times of natural disaster and disruption. A point of reference: during the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, coastal shipping was able to maintain their services into Christchurch. Reducing truck movements on the national highway network will also contribute to improved road safety.


Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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