Changes to Maersk Line’s New Zealand service schedule which give Kiwi companies more capacity and better access to the major hub ports of South East Asia have been greeted positively.
The previous NZ1 service effectively becomes two services, the Northern Star and the Southern Star. Also the four Dabou-class vessels working the NZ1 schedule will be replaced by nine 2,900-TEU vessels, meaning greater available capacity and improved flexibility for shippers. The changes introduce direct services to Tanjung Pelepas from Christchurch and Tauranga, and add another weekly call into Auckland.
Maersk Line’s Trade & Marketing Manager in New Zealand, Dave Gulik, told local media that the new vessels were better suited to the cargo mix Maersk Line expected to carry, and the schedule changes would further improve schedule reliability.
Shippers will benefit
The New Zealand Shipping Gazette quoted New Zealand Shippers Council chairman, Greg Steed, welcoming the introduction of more shipping capacity to New Zealand.
“Exporters and importers have been suffering from a lack of space over the past year and shippers will benefit from greater slot capacity on the routes involved,” the paper reported Steed as saying.
Dave Gulik agreed that the continuing high global demand for many New Zealand exports has meant space had been tight.
“We are reasonably confident this level of demand will continue, and we are stepping up our service to meet it more effectively,” he said.
Announced in mid May, the changes came into force at the end of July as the first vessel on the new service arrived in New Zealand on 31 July.
Schedule reliability is seen to improve with the changes introduced in the NZ1 service