Finance

Maritime and commercial operators expect another coastal shipping.

Please – not another study.

Containers are being unloaded at Littleton Port.

Containers are being unloaded at Littleton Port.
Image: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

This is a call from coastal shipping proponents who say the money allocated by the transport agency needs to pick up another ship and launch it immediately.

Thirty million dollars have been allocated for domestic shipping over three years, but it is not clear exactly what and when it will be spent.

Craig Harrison, national secretary of the Maritime Union, has long called for the return of domestic flag-carrying ships, which run up and down the coast.

“So we know there is one company in particular that is very interested, there may be another, but we know they’re actively looking at it and, if they get help, they can do it.

“And they’re just talking about weeks or months of bringing another ship ashore.”

He said there would be a change in the law to help international ships stop carrying domestic cargo.

Steve Chapman, former head of Pacifica Shipping, New Zealand’s only seaplane firm, said the reason was that over the years, international companies had reduced the opportunity for local seaplanes.

“They have vacancies, say they are going from Auckland to Littleton from Turanga and they will reduce the spot rate which a dedicated coastal operator cannot compete with by all means.”

However, he said that is changing.

“They have lost the ability to carry cargo and put some pressure on the domestic supply chain because they can earn more money, more revenue on other routes.

“I’m afraid to say that New Zealand’s trade lane is insignificant compared to the two largest trade lanes outside Asia. And the people of New Zealand are paying the price.”

Harrison also said that international lines would probably prefer only one or two call ports, making it easier to manage the Covid 19 virus.

“Instead of going around multiple ports, picking up some containers here and there, I’m sure some of these shipping companies will be very happy, for example, go to a particular port and pick up all your goods and Then go

“And also, the effects of Covid 19, you know how to clean the vessels, whether they have Covid yes or no … so there is an element of safety in New Zealand if we take the time to revolve around these ships. We can limit the quantity. Ports, then this is another factor to consider. “

He was encouraged by Waka Kotahi’s confirmation of the investment, and hoped that it would lead to action, not more negotiations.

“This will open up the capacity of our regional ports and help ease the problem of moving containers out of Auckland to areas where they are needed for export.

“So there’s a win for everyone, we just need to move on with that … for $ 30 million we hope it’s no other study.

Both agree that the coastal ship will not attempt to change the road or rail, and will have to work with other modes of transport.

“Traditionally, it has been a two-legged toilet … road and rail and coastal shipping have been neglected forever,” said Chapman.

He said ڈالر 30 million was a good start, but would like to see more investment in the coming years.

“Five to 10 years ago, ڈالر 30 million would have bought you a brand new building in the 1100-1500 TEU mark. The 30 million you won’t get as much as it did, maybe two years ago. “

Previous studies have highlighted the advantages of flexibility in an efficient coastal route and when it comes to reducing transport emissions.

Foreign-flagged ships currently carry about 80% of New Zealand’s total coastal container cargo.

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