China will increase the supply of containers and tighten monitoring of the shipping market to further stabilize the rising logistics costs in international trade, a government official said.
Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said during a news conference that shipments from China have played a vital role in stabilizing global supply chains and sustaining the global economy. However, some countries have been facing logistics issues due to the unequal distribution of containers, he said.
The Commerce Ministry will continue to work with related parties to provide more containers to the market, speed up the turnaround of containers, and help container manufacturers to expand productivity, the official said.
The China Container Industry Association said on Nov 27 that the surge in China’s exports and the low turnaround rate of containers from abroad have triggered an increased demand for containers of China origin since July. The association has urged the manufacturers of shipping containers to ramp up production and ease the shortage of containers.
Chinese container manufacturers have already extended the normal working hours from eight hours to 11 hours, and started making 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units every month since September.
The association said that the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on production in countries around the world and the nearing of Christmas, a peak season for export of Chinese products to Europe and the United States, were part of the reasons for the shortage of containers.
According to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange, the average China Containerized Freight Index stood at 1,198 on Nov 27, up 4.6 percent on a weekly basis. The index tracks spot and contractual freight rates from Chinese container ports for 12 shipping routes across the globe, based on data from 22 international carriers.
Shanghai has handled 238,000 TEU containers through the railway-to-port model in the past 11 months, up 79 percent compared with the same period a year ago, China Railway Shanghai Group said on Wednesday. More than 30,000 containers were handled by this mode in September, a monthly record, it said.
The multimodal transportation of containers by railway and connecting ports is being promoted as more cost-effective, safer and more environment-friendly, the group said, predicting that more than 250,000 containers will be handled through this model this year.
The increased shipping through the new transport model is just one reflection of the rebound in the total container throughputs at ports across China since the country largely controlled the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Shanghai International Port Group, the total throughput of containers in Shanghai Port exceeded 40 million TEUs on Wednesday, marking the fourth consecutive year that the port broke the world record it set in 2017.
Nearly 15.5 million TEU containers were handled at the Tianjin Port from January to October, up 5.6 percent on a yearly basis, Tianjin Daily said in a recent report.
In southern China, the Guangzhou Port Group said it saw a container throughput of 15.8 million TEUs during the first nine months of the year, up by 1.5 percent on a yearly basis.
The surge in exports has also increased shipping rates, and containers in major freight lines have been booked up to 10 to 15 days before the shipping date, according to Guangzhou Daily. Source: China Daily
The New Zealand supply chain is on the brink of overload and it looks like the upcoming peak imports season may push it over the edge says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken.
“Worldwide supply chains are in disarray,” says Mr Aitken. “The current pandemic affects everything, and the transport and logistics sector is in the thick of it. Bigger and better resourced countries have higher levels of critical infrastructure to cope with this, but it does not take much to bring New Zealand Inc. to its knees. Shipping companies and ports across the country are already struggling to keep up with consumer demand and the worst is yet to come.”
Mr Aitken says the problems have been brought about by a combination of factors including booming exports from North Asia and not enough vessels, industrial action across the Tasman causing shipping delays of up to eight weeks, COVID-19 and Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga facing some major challenges of their own. With berth schedules currently suspended at Ports of Auckland, not to mention the introduction of automation and staff shortages, and more vessels docking at Ports of Tauranga, receival and delivery times are constantly changing at both ports with little or no notice.
Mr Aitken also says airfreight schedules are not what they once were. “There are few passenger planes arriving with freight in their holds. The airfreight that does arrive is much more expensive. That urgent part you needed from the warehouse in Singapore is not available now. It will be shipped by sea and arrive in six weeks. If you need it in a hurry for Christmas, then you should have ordered it in October.
“Consumers and producers cannot count on getting what they want when they were used to having it. Not planning ahead will have consequences because the stock not ordered early will not be available on time.”
He says the transport sector is bearing the brunt of these issues and is facing big challenges. Road transport is the one thing that binds the whole machine together but operators are struggling with lost capacity, poor productivity and combined truck and administration costs.
“If it were not for the trucking industry, the Ports would close within days. By association, so would rail, and container depots because with no throughput the shipping lines would soon bypass New Zealand altogether. Importers and exporters would suffer terribly and so would the economy.
“The road transport industry is carrying and supporting the whole supply chain and working alongside sea, air and rail freight to keep the country moving. If you’ve got it, a truck delivered it.”
Mr Aitken says the supply chain industry – the Ports, the empty container yards and the freight industry – need to work together to understand each other’s issues and communicate better.
“There needs to be clarity around roles and responsibilities and we need to stop blaming each other, which brings about the increased costs to the carrier when it’s no one sector’s fault. Communication needs to improve and, when there is an issue, we need to identify it quickly and talk to the people who know how to fix it. Better alert systems need to be put in place.
“Unfortunately instead of working in with the road transport industry, the Ports and empty container yards are adding costs and constraints like reducing the free time for containers in their yards, adding penalties for non-delivery and increasing vehicle booking system (VBS) costs all when we need to reduce the pressure on the supply-chain. These network providers need to talk to the carriers who keep them afloat and engage some very simple but very effective measures.
“Currently all the costs fall on the carriers and that will filter down to the consumer because the carrier cannot wear those mounting costs any longer. This will make New Zealand less competitive on a global scale and, with failing imports on the horizon, a lack of co-operation between supply chain sector parties will be to blame when the system overloads and stops completely.”
Critical capacity issues at ports around New Zealand are making retailers worried that they won’t be able to import stock ahead of the Christmas rush. Alex Braae reports.
Traffic jams of container ships are building up around Auckland’s port, and retailers are concerned they won’t get imported stock in time to sell it for Christmas.
The issues causing the delay are a perfect storm, including Covid-19, an automation project that had to be halted partway through due to lockdown, and a massive backlog in demand which shows no signs of abating. Many retailers held off on ordering new stock during lockdown because of uncertain conditions, but then retail boomed immediately after the restrictions were lifted.
Simon Sheterline, the director of mattress retailer Winkl, said getting space on shipping lines out of China is at a premium right now, pushing prices up. But the congestion at the ports is also making him worried that his mattresses won’t arrive in time for “the most important part of the year” for sales.
“Boats are currently sitting off Whangapāraoa with containers on them, waiting to get through Auckland Port.” Sheterline said there are rumours currently circulating in the furniture import industry that boats might get turned back to China, “because the boats need to be utilised, and can’t be sitting in New Zealand waters for a long period of time.”
There’s no clear way for stock to be redirected, said Sheterline. “All of our stock is currently tied up on those boats sitting off Whangapāraoa, so we’re just fingers crossed that the boat doesn’t decide to go back to China because it can’t unload.”
“But at the same time we’re being told there’s no way to redirect our stock through any other ports around the country, because Tauranga and Christchurch are refusing to take bookings on ships direct to those ports until after Christmas, because they’re also congested.
“So it’s really leaving us in a position where if that stock does go back to China, we won’t be able to book another boat to bring it back, and we won’t be able to airfreight it, because there’s no space on airfreight at the moment.”
Ports of Auckland head of communications Matt Ball poured cold water on the idea that ships would be turned around, but conceded that many vessels are sitting at anchor for much longer at the moment than they normally would be.
“We have had ships that have been at anchor for up to six days, maybe in a couple of days longer than that, but no, not turning back to China, I haven’t heard that.” He said that length of time was “highly unusual”, but other ports were also seeing ships sitting and waiting offshore.
Ports of Auckland was part of the way through rolling out an automation process when Covid hit, and work on it had to stop. The development had been planned to coincide with the quietest part of the year, but that fell right in the middle of lockdown. The terminal is now split in half, with one half running automated systems, and the other manual.
“We had deliberately chosen the quietest time of year to do that switch, so we could really test things out, so that if something went wrong we could use the manual part of the terminal,” said Ball.
“By the time we got everything going again, levels of imports had picked up again, and we were under the hammer. So that meant we’re actually going to be running with a split terminal for much longer than we initially hoped.”
The two-terminal setup is just one of the issues slowing down the port right now. New processes around staff safety relating to Covid have also cut into work hours. The port is currently looking to hire dozens of new stevedores to increase capacity.
And shipping is more generally an industry that is always subject to forced changes in plans. That can be as simple as the weather playing havoc with schedules. Ball estimated that in a normal year, about half of all ships would arrive in port late, but this year various factors in the global supply chain meant it was more like 70%.
In terms of New Zealand’s overall capacity, Auckland doesn’t currently have the ability to manage delayed schedules like it normally would.
“In past years, ships have come in here, dropped everything that they’re meant to be taking to Lyttelton for example, then leave it here for another ship to pick up, and they’d be able to leave early and catch up on their schedule. This year they haven’t been able to do it.”
Rosemarie Dawson, CEO of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation, said the problems are global, and that limitations would be at a critical level for the rest of the year.
“There has been a worldwide surge in consumer demand. Shipping companies did not anticipate this and significantly restricted capacity due to the fall in demand when China effectively shut down due to Covid-19. Lines are now at capacity, so it is very difficult to get space on ships coming out of China.”
Simon Sheterline said he understands how difficult and disrupted the situation is right now, and that the ports have ended up under the pump. “But the communication is not there. The only communication you get as a business owner is that your shipment has been delayed, and then the ports will give you a time for its release, and then they’re pushing that out again.”
“There’s not a lot of information coming out, when I’d think they would have seen this coming, and what information that is coming out is very unreliable, which makes it very difficult from a business perspective.”
Ball said daily updates are being provided to all stakeholders about the progress of cargo, noting that it’s important that the port is honest with importers about how tough things are right now.
Managing director of Morey Oil South Pacific, Shelley Free, said its oil exports bound for Brisbane typically took four days to cross the ditch, but wait times were now up to 37 days.
“Which is probably applicable to the fact that the boats have just all been fully booked,” she said.
“I know COVID-19 is to blame for a lot of this but, if we’ve got to get our economy up and running again, it means exporting.”
COVID-19 and strikes at Australian ports have caused congestion at our ports, delaying cargo ships arrival times. Some ships have been forced to anchor off the coast of Auckland for six days before they can dock.
A big part of the problem is on land.
Auckland’s rail facility Metroport, that sends exports to the Port of Tauranga, is so stressed, it’s told customers it can’t accept all of their cargo.
“[Rail] can’t cope with massive volume like we have now, so delays to and from the Port of Tauranga up to seven to 10 days is also affecting the supply chain quite significantly,” Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation President Chris Edwards said.
Metroport is at full capacity, so much so it had to shut its gates last week and stop accepting all exports.
Newshub has obtained evidence of it telling some shipping lines on Thursday that it won’t accept their exports until next week.
Port of Tauranga, which owns Metroport, told Newshub it has put caps on container numbers to ease the pressure, but they should lift early next week.
“We are working closely with shipping lines and KiwiRail to ensure priority cargo is transferred as quickly as possible,” a POT spokeswoman said.
KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller said it was experiencing a significant increase in demand to move freight, to the point where it needed to be managed carefully.
“We are urging road transport operators and customs agents to clear their cargoes from Metroport Auckland as soon as practicable.”
Customs had received no complaints, but New Zealand Trade and Enterprise said it was monitoring the situation.
“At this stage, we are making our exporters aware of potential port congestion issues and suggesting they work closely with freight forwarders to ensure they can get their goods out of New Zealand.”
In 2019, the international liner shipping industry transported approximately 226 million containers, with cargo transported valued at more than $4 trillion. Proper packing, stowage and securing of containers and reporting of correct weight are very important to the safety of a container ship, its crew, and its cargo, to shore-based workers and equipment, and to the environment. However, even with proper packing of the cargo into the container, correct container weight declaration, and proper stowage and securing aboard ship, a number of factors ranging from severe weather and rough seas to more catastrophic and rare events like ship groundings, structural failures, and collisions can result in containers being lost at sea. Since 2011, the World Shipping Council (WSC) has undertaken a survey of its members to accurately estimate the number of containers that are lost at sea each year. The WSC’s member companies operate more than three quarters of the global containership capacity; thus, a survey of their losses provides a valid basis for a meaningful estimate of the total number of containers lost at sea. The 2020 update gathered information from years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Methodology of the Surveys In each of the surveys conducted in 2011, 2014, 2017, and 2020 the WSC member companies were asked to report the number of containers lost overboard for the preceding three years. For the 2020 report, all WSC member companies responded and together, they represent 80% of the total global vessel container capacity deployed at the time of the survey. WSC assumes for the purpose of its analysis that the container losses for the 20% of the industry’s capacity that is operated by carriers that did not participate in the survey would be roughly equivalent to the losses reported by the responding carriers representing 80% of the industry’s capacity.
The total annual figure reported by WSC members is adjusted upward to provide an estimated loss figure for all carriers, both WSC members and non-members, to arrive at an estimate of total containers lost. As expected, some carriers lost no containers during the period, while others noted a significant incident where hundreds of containers were lost in a single event.
There are more than 6,000 ships carrying containers around the world at any point in time. In previous surveys, WSC asked members to distinguish between losses that occurred because of a catastrophic event on a single sailing, defined as one where 50 containers or more were lost in a single incident, and non-catastrophic losses. This distinction was in part aimed at getting some insight into the general nature of losses. The conclusion after twelve years is that more than half of all containers lost at sea are attributable to the limited number of major incidents that have occurred during those years.
However, the industry recognizes that all containers lost at sea represent safety and environmental hazards regardless of how and when those containers were lost. Accordingly, the 2020 Update to the Containers Lost at Sea Survey no longer differentiates between catastrophic and non-catastrophic losses and includes only total containers lost at sea. It is this number that the industry seeks to reduce, and we continue to work with governments and other interested stakeholders to identify losses, their causes, and actionable solutions to reduce the losses in the future.
Upon review of the results of the twelve-year period (2008-2019) surveyed, the WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost at sea each year. With twelve years of data, it is particularly interesting to look at the trend of three-year averages, reported in each of the survey updates. In the first period (2008-2010), total losses averaged 675 per year and then quadrupled to an average of 2,683 per year in the next period (2011-2013). This was due in large part to the sinking of the MOL Comfort (2013) that resulted in a loss of 4,293 containers and further impacted by the grounding and loss of M/V Rena (2011) resulting in approximately 900 containers lost. Fortunately, there have not been such significant losses in a single incident reported since.
Nevertheless, the next period (2014-2016) was marked by another vessel sinking with the tragic total loss of the SS El Faro (2015) with the loss of 33 crew members and 517 containers. Even with that, the three-year average annual loss for the period was 1,390, about half that of the previous period. The downward trend continued into the most recent period (2017-2019) when the 3-year average annual loss was almost halved again to 779. There were no individual losses as significant as those noted in the previous periods, which is a welcome development. However, 2018 and 2019 were marked with a few incidents that each lost more than 100 containers.
Active Safety Improvement Initiatives Containers lost overboard represent less than one thousandth of 1% of the roughly 226 million containers currently shipped each year. Nevertheless, the liner shipping industry remains committed to continuing to partner with governments and other stakeholders to enhance container safety in order to further reduce the number of containers lost at sea, including:
• Amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention: On July 1, 2016 changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention requiring verification of container weights before packed containers may be loaded aboard ships went into effect. This is an effort WSC advocated in support of for many years. The requirement makes container weight verification a legally binding condition for vessel loading. Mis-declared container weights have contributed to the loss of containers at sea, as well as to other safety and operational problems. For more information about this issue, visit: http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/cargo-weight
• Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code): The IMO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), with industry support, produced a code of practice for the packing of CTU, including containers, outlining specific procedures and techniques to improve safety, such as how to ensure correct distribution of the weight inside the container, proper positioning, blocking and bracing according to the type of cargo, and other safety considerations. The code was approved in late 2014, and work to revise it is scheduled to commence in the near future. For more information about this and other initiatives related to the improved safety of handling containers, visit: http://www.worldshipping.org/industry- issues/safety/containers
• Revised ISO standards for container lashing equipment and corner castings: In support of the IMO’s efforts to enhance container safety, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with the industry’s active participation, revised its standards regarding lashing equipment and corner castings and the new standards went into effect in 2015. Both standards are poised to be revised in the near future. For more information about this issue visit: http://www.worldshipping.org/industry- issues/safety/containers
• Discrepancy in container stacking strength: WSC, working together with other industry associations, proposed to the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) 6 in September 2019 to align the Safe Container Convention (CSC)’s and ISO 1496-1 container stacking strength requirements, noting that the existing discrepancy might have significant safety implications, including collapsed container stacks and containers lost at sea. However, CCC 6 was not able to agree on specific steps but instead invited interested
delegations to develop a proposal for a new output for consideration by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee. WSC staff continues to engage with various parties for how best to address the current discrepancy in container stacking strength.
• Mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea: WSC is a co-sponsor of a submission to IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 102 by the European Union with a proposal for a new output on the mandatory reporting of containers lost at sea. The liner shipping industry supports such a mandatory reporting requirement and will continue to advocate for an early implementation of an effective and practical requirement.
• Revision of the IMO’s guidelines for the inspection programs for cargo transport units, including containers: CCC 6 agreed, in principle, to amend the IMO guidelines for inspection programs in order to: 1) further clarify that the selection criteria should be applied equally to CTUs carrying all types of cargoes, rather than being specifically applied on those declared to be carrying dangerous goods; 2) to adequately refer to the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code); and 3) to cover the reports from non-governmental organizations. A drafting group and subsequently a correspondence group have been reviewing the current guidelines, but further work is required before new revised guidelines may be adopted by the Sub-Committee. WSC has been a participant on both groups.
There are over 6,000 containerships continuously operating on the world’s seas and waterways linking continents and providing vital supplies to communities around the globe. The liner shipping industry’s goal remains to keep the loss of containers carried on those ships as close to zero as possible. Carriers will continue to explore and implement preventive and realistic measures to make that happen and welcome continued cooperation from governments and other stakeholders to accomplish this goal. Source: World Shipping Council
The work by the council, which owns Ports of Auckland and the 77 hectares of waterfront land it operates from, is the most detailed criticism yet of the controversial proposal to wind down the port and transfer its business to Marsden Point, perhaps within a decade.
“The preferred option appears to be an extremely expensive way to relocate jobs to Northland from Auckland,” said the council analysis.
The council analysis is of the interim report by the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working group, released in October along with an economic analysis from EY, of the future options for the ports at Marsden Point, Auckland and Tauranga.
The group, backed by EY’s findings, recommended re-locating Auckland’s port to Northland, reflecting New Zealand First’s 2017 election policy, before getting agreement from Labour in the coalition agreement to conduct the UNISCS study
The final report has just gone to the Government and will be considered by cabinet in December.
Analysis of the interim report by Auckland Council’s chief economist unit and its strategy and research department said the re-location option did not meet the principles which the working group established for itself.
It said instead of “cost efficiency”, costs would rise, “maintaining the level of competition” would not be achieved, and removing a key supply point for Auckland would not “maintain or improve the resilience of the supply chain”.
The review disputed the working group’s conclusion that clearing prime waterfront land would be an economic windfall through higher rates for Auckland Council.
“There is no evidence for this – any new activity on the waterfront will likely displace activity elsewhere in the city,” it said.
The council also said the economic case did not seem to take into account the significant spending before any benefits might flow.
“Investment in Northland required to handle Auckland’s freight volumes would need to be complete and operational before any managed closure (in Auckland).
“This means the net benefit is probably much lower than estimated in the report,” said the council review.
The council said the assessed impacts on employment were inconsistent, suggesting few jobs would be lost in Auckland, but 2000 created in Northland.
“A $10 billion project to relocate 2000 jobs is a very expensive way to relocate jobs (roughly $5 million per job),” said Auckland Council.
It also questioned whether the rail infrastructure that would be needed to run more than 100 freight trains a day through Auckland, as well as the truck traffic generated by a freight hub near Kumeu, had been fully assessed.
Another analysis of the EY economic impact report, seen by Stuff, but with the name of the author not disclosed, believed EY and the group might have over-estimated the net economic benefit of the move by nearly four times.
New Zealand First MP, and Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones who is championing the case to relocate to Northport, said he was aware of the differing views.
“There was always doubt about EY’s work (on the move) – but I just consider that to be part of the consultancy gossip chain,” Jones told Stuff.
The UNISC working party was chaired by Jones’ friend and Northland neighbour, businessman Wayne Brown, who took part in a television interview on TVNZ’s Q&A on Monday night in which several lines said to be from the final report, still unseen by cabinet, were put to him.
Stuff asked Jones whether the interview was appropriate.
“I don’t think it’s disproportionately unorthodox,” said Jones, who had been informed the interview would take place, but said he had not discussed with Brown what should or should not be said.
“Wayne Brown is someone my leader (Winston Peters) and I regard as an incredibly successful businessman, interested in Northland – but he is his own man,” Jones said.
The Government had made no promises on whether the idea proposed by New Zealand First in 2017 will progress.
“We undertook that we would complete the study, and we will,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Stuff in October.
“I am not going to make commitments beyond receiving the final report because we need to see what evidence has ben compiled, and what the report tells us,” Ardern said.
The conduct of the working group’s study has created tension between it and Auckland Council, with sparring between Brown and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who favoured the gradual redevelopment of the waterfront, but insisted there would need to be a price negotiated.
Ernst and Young was approached for comment, but declined.
OPINION: So now Winston Peters and his Government want to move the Ports of Auckland to Whangārei.
Such a small little thing to do that will barely cause much disruption at all. Said no-one ever.
Does anyone have any idea how ginormous this pie-in-the-sky promise really is?
Why? When? Where does the cargo go in the meantime? Has it been done before anywhere in a sane Western nation?
I applaud ambition usually, but this Government doesn’t appear to have a master plan at all. It has a series of massive work plans and ideas whose time may never come.
They being an expert panel who probably have no real idea, but call it a panel and it gets serious. Seriously, with Shane Jones’s wacko performance to farmers and now this out-there port wind-up, no wonder business is rightly nervous.
This port idea is shamelessly the work of Jones and Peters. It’s not just economic nationalism but is regional parochialism at its best – or worst, depending on how the future pans out.
So will the roads be upgraded north of Auckland, and what trains are needed, and how can it be done when we can’t get a passenger rail system to Auckland Airport?
Peters has spoken publicly about the port report like it’s a done deal, and the money will come shortly. But how can this happen so easily if the same Government couldn’t build a few houses for the middle class? Taking the build out of KiwiBuild since election night 2017.
Also no gain like a capital gain, as in the tax that sunk confidence but never went anywhere. And while we are at it, so much for ETS for farmers, because Labour suddenly froze.
Anyway, the prime minister would hardly say boo about sinking the ports of Auckland into northern waters for fear of saying the wrong thing.
She hadn’t seen the report, but an hour later Winston was word for word all about it. So why was he all over it and the country’s most high-profile Auckland MP, who happens to be the PM, didn’t know anything. Is it deliberate and, if so, let’s drag her deep and demand answers.
It’s not a Government scared of trying anything and everything. Something has to work soon, if not in education, then health. If those then fail, maybe it’s in tax reform, but we know that answer, so maybe it’s on climate reform. Oh yes, the Zero Carbon Bill. That’ll do it.
I think this Government is dreaming, even on some of the small stuff. Standards and credibility matter, and they need to get busy, but they need to be believable.
Their eyes are bigger than their stomachs, and I wonder how much voters can digest if it’s a repeat next year.
Pacifica are proud to announce that our new vessel Moana Chief, sailed into Auckland this week on her delivery voyage to begin a new life dedicated to the NZ coast. We plan to phase her into service this week commencing with voyage 4132 departing Auckland Friday 20 September which will coincide with the departure of Spirit of Canterbury. The Moana Chief brings over 50% greater capacity than SPOC (1700 teu Vs 1100 teu) and will operate on the same fixed day weekly schedule ; rotating Auckland →Lyttleton →Nelson →Tauranga . Pacifica’s introduction of additional capacity is a significant investment and commitment from our parent company Swire , and is a response to the growing demand for reliable access to the “Blue Highway” connecting key North & South Island ports .
As N.Z’s only dedicated weekly coastal carrier Pacifica are uniquely placed to offer a sustainable year-round solution for your wharf/wharf or door/door FCL shipments. We also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the mighty SPOC for years of dependable service ; she never missed a beat during the hundreds of voyages around N.Z and we wish her continued smooth sailings in her next deployment.
Port of Tauranga and the Tainui Group Holdings subsidiary, Port Ruakura LP, announced the agreement on Thursday.
Cargo shipped by a rail between Auckland and Tauranga will be handled at Ruakura and will meet the future needs of the company, Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said.
“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga.”
Port of Tauranga will have priority rail slots at the Ruakura facility with Port Ruakura LP providing the infrastructure including a rail siding, hardstand and cargo storage.
Waikato-based importers and exporters will have direct access to international shipping services at Tauranga.
The 480-hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses and the planned 30 hectare inland port.
Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin said the initial 30-year agreement is a key step toward unlocking the economic golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga for importers and exporters.
“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow,” Joblin said. “This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura.”
About half of all freight volumes in New Zealand occur in the golden triangle and container volumes are forecast to grow 60 per cent by 2042. Tauranga handles the biggest container ships to visit New Zealand.
KiwiRail operates up to 86 trains per week between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga, hauling up to 9000 twenty-foot equivalent units and the route has unused capacity.
KiwiRail CEO Greg Miller says the upper North Island is a key growth region for KiwiRail and the country.
“This is another example of the supply chain collaborating with KiwiRail to design and deliver rail infrastructure to better connect New Zealand,” Miller said.
Development of the Ruakura Inland Port is scheduled after the completion of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway in 2021.
Increased tonnage to meet rising coastal and international transhipment demand
New Zealand – Pacifica Shipping today confirmed that it has acquired a larger 1700 teu vessel for deployment on its premium coastal shipping service in New Zealand. The MV Moana Chief – which is expected to commence operations formally in September 2019 – will meet growing domestic and international transhipping cargo demand. Pacifica was acquired by The China Navigation Company (CNCo) – parent of Swire Shipping – in 2014.
Swire has been a long-term and active participant in New Zealand’s maritime and transport industry. The first Swire vessel called to New Zealand some 130 years ago. Today, Swire Shipping and Swire Bulk currently operate multiple liner and bulk vessels per month, connecting New Zealand to Australia, Asia, North America, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands and the rest of the world. For more information, please visit https://www.swirecnco.com
Brodie Stevens, Country Manager, Swire New Zealand, said: “With the acquisition and an increase in tonnage from 1,100 to 1,700 teu, we strongly believe Pacifica will be in a good position to meet rising domestic cargo and transhipment demand. We want to expand the range of valuable domestic transport solutions currently already provided by Pacifica, and this will enable us to do so. Coastal shipping in New Zealand continues to play an important part in the country’s domestic economy. It is also highly complementary with road and rail networks.”
According to a report by Deloitte in 2016, 236 million tonnes of freight are moved within New Zealand annually. The size of container ships has been increasing. Coastal shipping will continue to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions per container, and will also be a factor in New Zealand manufacturers’ decarbonisation of their supply chains.
Additionally, New Zealand’s domestic freight volumes are forecast to more than double by 2040, as stated in The National Freight Demand Study 2008, and confirmed again in the NFDS update, completed in 2014 – “Even with massive investment in land transport this increase could not be accommodated by road and rail alone. By growing coastal shipping, New Zealand can take a load off the other transport modes and contribute to a more efficient land transport network. By comparison, in Japan, a country with a similar geography, more than 30% of freight is carried by sea.”