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Pacifica Shipping confirms it is introducing a second vessel onto its New Zealand coastal shipping service, which is expected to be operational mid-September this year.

The vessel will add 1,300TEU extra capacity every week and will complement the existing coastal service provided by Pacifica Shipping’s MV Moana Chief, a 1,700TEU ship, which has been 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 to twice a week, offering 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 a weekly for Nelson and fortnightly for Timaru and Marsden Point. This has been a significant challenge to regional exporters during the COVID-19 pandemic, with international shipping lines reducing port calls into regional ports due to supply chain disruptions.

“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. He referenced Ministry of Transport data projections, showing freight volumes will increase a further 11% in the next 10 years and 40% by 2053