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APL launches New Zealand route
“This is the first time APL had launched a route that reaches New Zealand,” said Ashok Pillay, Senior Director of Trade Management for APL. “Our customers felt there was a need for us to be in New Zealand, so we decided it's time to enter that market.” In partnership with ANL and Hanjin, APL's new line, the New Zealand-Asia Express, or NAX, will begin in Singapore and include stops in Auckland and Tauranga in New Zealand, and Brisbane and Sydney in Australia before returning to Singapore. The service started on Sept. 1, and Pillay said it will accommodate a wide variety of cargo.
“New Zealand exports a large variety of products, including many food-related ones,” said Pillay. “We'll cover the entire bandwidth of commodities, including seasonal ones like apples, kiwifruit and avocados.” As a global carrier, Pillay is confident APL can tap into its existing customer base to fill the NAX. As with APL’s existing routes, the NAX will include the features that have made its reefer services stand out in other parts of the world.
“We offer services that provide real-time temperature data,” said Pillay. “Our SMARTemp units can automatically send temperature information via satellite to our customers using our on-line systems.” Equipped with a suite of products and services to manage special commodities, APL also offers Cold Treatment services that support carriage of reefer cargoes between countries with special quarantine protocols.
Regarding the rollout of a new shipping service in shaky economic times, Pillay noted that shipment volumes for certain produce could actually rise as consumers look for more affordable alternatives. That's the case when price-sensitive consumers opt for cheaper, bulkier options in an effort to get the most amount of food for their money. The resulting increase in demand for such food items means larger shipment volumes are needed. As for rising fuel costs, Pillay explained that although fuel is one of the biggest line-items in every carrier's budget, it's not the sole concern when contemplating a new shipping service.
“For us, it's not just about fuel, it's about the economics,” said Pillay. “The decision is based on what our customers need, and if they ask for specific services to certain markets, it's probably time for us to enter that market.”
For more information:
APL Co. Pte. LTd
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