The port of Tilbury has won a new fast-transit reefer service covering the Pacific, New Zealand, Peru and the US east coast.
The new scheduled service will trim nine days out of the existing New Zealand to UK connection, as well as offering improved frequency of northbound sailings from fortnightly to every 10 days.
The service will offer both reefer and dry cargo capacity, and will see large volumes of apples, kiwifruit, frozen goods, wine and yachts from New Zealand, as well as fruit, vegetables and frozen fish from Peru and the US east coast.
London Container Terminal announced that the Meridian service - operating with eight 2,500 TEU capacity vessels, four of which have been specifically built for this reefer-orientated service - will be making its first call in the UK by the Seatrade Blue this week.
Seatrade’s sister company, Streamlines, has been calling at London Container Terminal since the inception of the Blue Stream service in 2016, another specialist reefer service connecting Central America to the UK and Europe.
The Meriden service rotation will be: Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Radicatel (Le Havre), Papeete, Noumea, Nelson, Napier, Tauranga, Callao, Paita, Philadelphia, Zeebrugge and Tilbury.
New Zealand high commissioner to the UK, Sir Jerry Mateparae, said: "Trade is a significant pillar of the UK-NZ relationship - both historically and looking at opportunities in the future. This new service, which reduces travel time, will help to ensure trade flourishes."