Pacifica Shipping will introduce a second vessel onto its New Zealand coastal shipping service for improved schedule reliability at regional ports.
Two sailings a week are planned for the Auckland/Tauranga to Lyttelton service and are expected to become operational mid-September this year.
The vessel will add 1,300 TEU extra capacity every week and will complement the existing coastal service provided by Pacifica Shipping’s MV Moana Chief, a 1,700 TEU ship operating since August 2019.
Country Manager for Pacifica Shipping and Swire Shipping New Zealand Brodie Stevens said the service coverage of the new vessel will improve the frequency for the core trade from Auckland/Tauranga to Lyttelton and offer a viable alternative to other transport modes on the inter-island trade.
He pointed out that coverage for the regional ports will also improve to weekly for Nelson and fortnightly for Timaru and Marsden Point. With international shipping lines reducing port calls into regional ports due to supply chain disruptions, the service could vital for regional exporters.
“As New Zealand’s domestic transport is forecast to grow substantially over the next two decades, we are determined to meet that demand by increasing the frequency and capacity of our inter-island domestic freight service, as well as international transshipment cargo demand,” Stevens said.
Stevens referenced Ministry of Transport data projections, showing freight volumes will increase a further 11 per cent in the next 10 years and 40 per cent by 2053.
According to the carrier, the service will enable a more resilient New Zealand supply chain and improve vessel schedule reliability.