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The MV Moana Chief provides extra capacity to meet the future demands of both domestic and international shippers connecting on the New Zealand coast

Pacifica Shipping upgrades to a larger vessel

Pacifica Shipping has welcomed the arrival of the MV Moana Chief, a new 1700 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container vessel that has entered its weekly coastal service calling at Auckland, Lyttelton, Nelson and Tauranga.

Owned and operated by Pacifica Shipping, the MV Moana Chief replaces the MV Spirit of Canterbury  and provides a 600 TEU increase in capacity to meet the future demands of both domestic and international shippers connecting on the New Zealand coast. The investment in the larger vessel reinforces Pacifica Shipping’s commitment to coastal shipping in New Zealand.

Pacifica was acquired by The China Navigation Company (CNCo) – the parent of Swire Shipping – in 2014. Swire has been a long-term and active participant in New Zealand’s maritime and transport industry. The first Swire vessel called to New Zealand some 130 years ago. 

Today, Swire Shipping and Swire Bulk currently operate multiple liner and bulk vessels per month, connecting New Zealand to Australia, Asia, North America, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and the rest of the world. 

More domestic transport solutions

Brodie Stevens, country manager, Swire New Zealand, says: “With the acquisition of the MV Moana Chief and an increase in tonnage from 1100 to 1700 TEU, we strongly believe Pacifica will be in a good position to meet rising domestic cargo and transhipment demand. 

“We want to expand the range of valuable domestic transport solutions currently already provided by Pacifica, and this will enable us to do so. Coastal shipping in New Zealand continues to play an important part in the country’s domestic economy. It is also highly complementary with road and rail networks.”

The MV Moana Chief arrives in Port Nelson as part of her maiden voyage in late September

According to a report by Deloitte in 2016, 236 million tonnes of freight are moved within New Zealand annually. The size of container ships has been increasing. Coastal shipping will continue to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions per container, and will also be a factor in New Zealand manufacturers’ decarbonisation of their supply chains.

Additionally, New Zealand’s domestic freight volumes are forecast to more than double by 2040, as stated in the National Freight Demand Study 2008, and confirmed again in the update completed in 2014.

“Even with massive investment in land transport, this increase could not be accommodated by road and rail alone,” says Mr Stevens. “By growing coastal shipping, New Zealand can take a load off the other transport modes and contribute to a more efficient land transport network. By comparison, in Japan, a country with a similar geography, more than 30% of freight is carried by sea.”

The MV Moana Chief completed her maiden coastal voyage in late September.


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