Maersk return goes like clockwork

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014
maersk
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

FULLY LOADED: The Josephine Maersk, the first Maersk vessel to visit Timaru's port since 2012.

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The first Maersk vessel since 2012 is in Timaru, cementing a deal signed this year to ship Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms products from the port.

Maersk cut Timaru from its schedule after a nationwide deal saw it streamline its services to the major ports in New Zealand.

After Port of Tauranga took over the container shipping operations at PrimePort Timaru last year, it signed a 10-year-deal with New Zealand logistics company Kotahi.

The deal has brought Maersk back to Timaru.

Maersk New Zealand chief executive Gerard Morrison said so far, so good.

"It arrived at 2am, despite the weather challenges Wellington put up for us," he said.

Five hundred empty containers were discharged from the ship, and 400 full ones were loaded, Morrison said.

"The majority of them were from Fonterra, not all of them but the majority," he said.

The vessel was in Timaru for just over 24 hours. It arrived at 2am yesterday and was scheduled to leave at 3am today. The first stop will be Malaysia, then the containers will be divided up and sent on to Asia and Europe.

Maersk was not concerned about the recent drop in dairy prices worldwide as the prices auto-correct themselves, Morrison said.

The recent logging price fall was something it would keep a much closer eye on as volumes were more likely to be affected, he said.

Port of Tauranga corporate services manager Sara Lunam said it was pleased with the way the new service had begun.

"It came in on time and has worked very well so far. "The teams working the ship have done a fantastic job to ensure everything is working like clockwork."

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- The Timaru Herald

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