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New container service sees New Zealand shipping going from strength to strength

The Maritime Union of New Zealand says New Zealand coastal shipping is on an unprecedented growth curve as another New Zealand crewed ship comes onto the New Zealand coast.

Pacifica Shipping has announced a new 1300-TEU container vessel MV Takutai Chief will start on an inter-island run on 19 September between a number of New Zealand ports.

The vessel will complement the existing Pacifica container ship MV Moana Chief.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says new shipping services would provide links between regional ports and larger ports, and greater resilience in the supply chain.

“These services will provide a low carbon, reliable option for freight that will help solve congestion in ports and overcome the current delays and unreliability of international shipping.”

He says the resurgence in coastal shipping was due to a positive and proactive approach by Minister of Transport Michael Wood and the Government in their shipping policy.

Mr Harrison says the Maritime Union was partnering with Government, industry and training providers to create opportunities for training a new generation of New Zealand seafarers.

He says previous short-sighted ideology in past decades had undermined New Zealand coastal shipping but the situation had changed completely over the last two years, as the global shock of COVID and a volatile international situation disrupted supply chains.

The announcement of Government funding support to four operators to introduce new coastal shipping services, including Pacifica, had made a game changing difference to the sector in 2022.

In addition to Pacifica and three other operators who received funding support, global shipper Maersk have introduced a new dedicated New Zealand coastal service, Maersk Coastal Connect, with two New Zealand crewed container ships.

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