Lloyd’s List Australia
Photo: Swire Shipping general manager – commercial, Brodie Stevens; photo – Jim Wilson
SWIRE Shipping has instituted changes to its services in New Zealand and the Pacific, not the least of which centred around its NZ coastal routes after the Kaikoura earthquake put some logistics infrastructure in the country out of commission.
Swire Shipping general manager – commercial Brodie Stevens told Lloyd’s List Australia that Swire’s coastal arm, Pacifica Shipping, reported strong support in the coastal trades since the earthquake.
“With the rail link temporarily out of action and road capacity under pressure and relatively expensive for some commodities, coastal shipping has proven to be a reliable and sustainable mode,” he said.
“With rail expected to reintroduce services in the coming months, cargo will likely move towards the most sustainable mode in-line with service requirements. Pacifica expects ongoing support for their mode as customers build resilience and proven sustainability into their supply chain frameworks.”
Meanwhile, Swire’s Trans-Tasman Service is in for a change in the next month.
Mr Stevens said Swire had maintained its twice monthly (TRT) service on the Tasman despite challenging conditions, and recently announced changes that would see the service move to a “fixed day fortnightly” schedule.
“In New Zealand, the service will call at Auckland, Marsden Point and Tauranga and has ceased calls to Napier, Lyttelton and Nelson, which will now be serviced by transhipment on other Swire Shipping services,” he said.
“This enhanced service will retain the port calls in Port Kembla and Newcastle but will now include Melbourne and Sydney on a direct call basis with Geelong being serviced on inducement.”
The revised rotation is to be Auckland – Marsden Point – Tauranga – Melbourne – Port Kembla – Sydney – Newcastle – Auckland.
The first westbound sailing of the new service is due on June 25 out of Auckland with the Hong Kong-flagged Kokopo Chief (IMO 8907412), which is a fully cellular containership with a capacity of 725 TEU.
The first eastbound sailing will be from Melbourne on July 8, also with the Kokopo Chief.
Turning our attention north, towards the South Pacific, Swire increased its coverage into the Pacific Islands from North Asia.
“The line now offers up to six services a month from Asia to the Pacific together with services from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe,” Mr Stevens said.
“Annually the line makes over 450 port calls in the South Pacific, excluding Australia and New Zealand.”
Last year, Swire established offices in Apia, Suva and Lautoka. This coincided with its establishment of a fortnightly service from Australia to Prony Bay, Noumea, Lautoka, Suva, Port Vila and Santo, with transhipment serving other Pacific Island ports.
The service deploys two geared CNCo-type Miho vessels with a nominal capacity of 981 TEU.
Mr Stevens said Swire was moving towards more independent operations in the South Pacific markets.
“Swire has invested in increased tonnage and this has improved its capability across the South Pacific in the multi-purpose, container and project shipping sector,” he said