Maersk: in for the long haul

RMSC-14-sponsorMaersk Line NZ was once again a major Red Meat Sector Conference sponsor, under-writing the costs for the Gala Dinner.

“It’s one way we try to show our support for the meat industry,” says Maersk Line NZ chief executive Gerard Morrison, adding that the line is “completely supportive” of any activity that gets industry together and sharing ideas.

This supportive approach is also highlighted in the new 10 year agreement between freight and logistics company Kotahi – a joint venture between Silver Fern Farms and Fonterra – and Maersk. For the meat industry, it will create stability for the decade ahead and also drive economies of scale, says Morrison.

Gerard Morrison, Maersk Line NZ“It will create stability, in terms of services, and shows that Maersk is here for the long-haul. It also means that industry can develop long-term plans with certainty.”

The economies of scale that will be created will benefit everyone over coming years, he says.

Morrison commented on the recent Chinese rejection of Maersk’s proposed P3 Network vessel sharing agreement with MSC and CMA CGM. He says the news, which means preparatory work on the P3 has now stopped, is disappointing as the initiative would have driven scale for the shipper and its customers.

“However, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It changes nothing in terms of the way we operate,” he says. New Zealand produce will still be going to Asian hub ports to link with the company’s new massive Triple-E ships which are operating well on East-West trade routes.

In addition, Maersk is continually developing technologies to assist exporters, including its latest work on remote control of refrigerated containers.

Bigger ships on the horizon

In tandem with the above announcement, another separate agreement between Kotahi and the Port of Tauranga promises to deliver a ‘step-change’ for this country’s $95 billion international trade sector. The parties say that this will bring forward developments to enable the port to handle bigger ships, capable of carrying 5,500-8000 twenty foot equivalent containers full of meat, dairy and Red Meat Sector Conference 2014horticultural produce away to distant export markets.

Development of New Zealand ports capable of taking the bigger ships was recommended in the NZ Shippers’ Council 2010 report ‘The question of bigger ships: securing New Zealand’s international supply chain’ (see Food NZ, October/November 2010). The Meat Industry Association (MIA) is a member of the Council.

This article has appeared in Food NZ magazine (August/September 2014) and is reproduced here with permission.

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