Successful shipping industry vital for NZ economy

A strong and successful shipping industry is vital for this country’s prosperity, says the new head of New Zealand’s International container Lines Committee, Noel Coom.

Coom, general manager of ANL New Zealand, the local arm of French shipping group CMA CGM, says the New Zealand economy is “more dependent than most” on sustainable links to customers and markets around the world.

“Primary goods make up half New Zealand’s total exports and that is likely to remain the case for a long time to come, so reliable shipping services are essential,” he says.

“If the the container lines are to continue to give New Zealanders the level of service they need, and at the same time satisfy our shareholders, we need to look at how we can work with each other and with our customers to maximise our efficiency and our contribution to the economy.”

Coom says the intensely competitive nature of the container shipping industry had sometimes made effective co-operation difficult in the past, but that was beginning to change.

“In the Northern Hemisphere, alliances such as the one proposed between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM are increasingly seen a s a way companies can continue to provide high levels of service cost-effectively, while maintaining a genuinely competitive market for customers. This type of solution is even more applicable in New Zealand: we are a long way from anywhere else and we simply don’t generate sufficient volumes of cargo to support a whole raft of competing services.”

Coom says it isimportant the shipping industry contributed to the debate around regulation affecting it and ts customers and the Container Lines Committee was an effective vehicle for that.

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