Press Release – Pacifica Shipping
Pacifica Shipping will launch a new coastal container service next month, the first step in what it says is a vital rejuvenation for domestic sea freight capacity and inter-island transport efficiency.
Steve Chapman, Pacifica’s chief executive, said Spirit Of Independence will carry almost 300 containers more than the ship it replaces, Spirit of Resolution, which operated successfully on the coast for 15 years until going off charter last month.
“The new vessel is 40% bigger, faster, and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. As a gearless ship – the same as our Spirit of Endurance – we will no longer call at Port of Onehunga and will utilise the main Auckland port instead,” Mr Chapman said.
“With a total TEU capacity of 672 containers, the new ship also offers substantially greater reefer capacity to help meet rising demand for domestic and export transhipment of refrigerated cargoes.”
Mr Chapman said the chartered Spirit of Independence will provide scheduled weekly calls to Auckland, Lyttelton, Nelson and New Plymouth ports, looping around North Cape to begin each southbound leg.
“In tandem with Spirit of Endurance the ship will greatly improve the logistical capability of our coastal network and enhance productive use of existing ports’ infrastructure and facilities.
“Crucially it will also deliver the lowest possible costs for long-haul freight movers, at no cost to New Zealand taxpayers.
“Nothwithstanding talk of a new Cook Strait ferry terminal, moving goods by sea directly between ports is the safest, cleanest and most energy efficient mode by far.”
“We have a practical blueprint for coastal shipping going forward, offering a cost effective alternative to land-based modes that move the same types of cargo between North and South Island markets.
He said Pacifica Shipping was now strategically placed to ensure coastal shipping can play a key role in meeting projected freight growth over the next one to two decades.
“Our improved service gives us the ability to grow this business, even in the current environment of subsidised rail and road.
“We believe it will be the forerunner of more coastal vessels over the coming years.”
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Pacifica Shipping’s new coastal ship, Spirit of Independence, can carry 672 containers