Fitting with its mantra of putting customers “at the heart” of its services, Dutch-headquartered shipping firm Seatrade has unveiled its Seatrade White vessel in Tauranga, New Zealand, this afternoon (11 April).
The specialised reefer container vessel was christened by Linda McBride, wife of Zespri chairman Peter McBride, before a reception and guided tours of the new ship. It will depart the Port of Tarunga tomorrow morning.
Seatrade White is a member of the company’s new Colour Class fleet, with a reefer capacity intake of more than 700 plugs. The ship can carry in excess of 27,000 tonnes when fully loaded, with the capability to load both 20’ and 40’ HC reefer containers.
The vessel will be used on Seatrade’s recently launched Meridian service, linking New Zealand suppliers with customers in Europe in 30 days. The fast, direct and dedicated (FDD) service includes calls in Peru and Philadelphia, before arriving at the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
“We have basically tailored the schedule for the New Zealand export season, so this is a logical place to christen this ship,” Seatrade New Zealand general manager Tim Evans told Asiafruit. “We’ve had input from Zespri as the key partner. At the same time other New Zealand exporters trading commodities such as apples, pears, onions, carrots and meat like this fast, direct and dedicated offering.”
Almost all of Zespri’s Northern European shipments will be completed via Colour Class ships on the Meridian service this season.
The new service will take three days longer than Zespri’s previous system for supplying Northern Europe – chartered shipments that took 27 days. However, Zespri shipping manager Mike Knowles said the specialised reefer container vessels would provide more “flexibility and improved performance” to the single desk marketer.
“It’s still a very quick service when you consider a container line would take between 42 – 44 days. We’re getting there in 30 days, two weeks faster then any other service,” he explained. “We also get a call into Philadelphia, which will provide us with extra capacity there [in the US].”
The 10-day frequency Meridian service will be operated by eight vessels, including other newly built members of the Colour Class fleet; Seatrade Red, Setrade Orange and Seatrade Blue.
The service has the following rotation: Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Radicatel, Papeete, Noumea, Nelson, Napier, Tauranga, Callao, Paita, Philadelphia, Zeebrugge, Tilbury and Rotterdam. Transit times are as follows: 23 days EU to Tahiti, 30 days EU to New Caledonia, 30 days New Zealand to EU, 21 days New Zealand to USEC, 16 days Peru to EU and 8 days from Peru to USEC.