Global container shipping company Maersk Line and New Zealand export supply chain partnership Kotahi have announced a new direct service from Asia to New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga.
The service will see the port welcome the largest container ship to ever visit New Zealand, at 9,500 TEU, reports the NZ Herald.
The collaboration between Maersk Line and Kotahi was announced two years ago, with the Port of Tauranga investing NZ$350m to develop the port’s infrastructure to handle larger ships. Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Cairns said the final stages of dredging would be completed in August.
"We are pleased to see that our upgraded infrastructure will be utilised so promptly,” Cairns told the Herald. “This gives us the opportunity to continue providing our customers with premium ocean freight solutions from a range of carriers. We're proud to be part of an innovative collaboration keeping New Zealand businesses competitive on the world stage."
Maersk Line Oceania MD Gerard Morrison said Maersk would now offer a fast weekly connection between to North Asia, allowing New Zealand exporters a direct service to Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan, while the largest ships Maersk will be bringing in to the Port of Tauranga will improve sustainability.
"This new generation 9,500 TEU vessel is more fuel efficient on a per-container basis and will reduce the carbon footprint of the ocean freight component of New Zealand exports by a minimum of 22 per cent per container unit, compared to the existing New Zealand industry average," Morrison added.