Ports of Auckland working with coastal shipping to help keep South Island supplied

Freight demand on New Zealand’s busiest domestic sea route, Auckland to Christchurch, has doubled following the massive Kaikoura Earthquake on Monday.

Ports of Auckland will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that people in Christchurch and affected areas in the Upper South Island have continuous access to the things they need.

Chief Executive Tony Gibson said “While the sudden increase in freight does put pressure on us, we will do everything we can to make sure the goods get through as quickly as possible.  We are working closely with Pacifica, NZ’s domestic coastal shipping operator, and participating international lines.  South Island goods are our top priority.”

“It is only a small thing, but we are pleased to be able to help where we can,” he added.

Steve Chapman, CEO of Pacifica said “The supply chain is open and the shelves will remain well stocked because coastal shipping is taking up the task previously carried out by road and rail.  With the main road and rail links likely to be closed for months, we expect to be run off our feet, but we are well up to the challenge.”

Tomorrow morning, Thursday 17 November, Pacifica’s coastal container ship ‘Spirit of Canterbury’ will be in Auckland loading containers for Lyttelton.

There are five weekly services between Auckland and Lyttelton operated by domestic and international lines, with ample capacity to serve the current level of demand and more.

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