Last week the Lyttleton Port Company (LPC) announced that they are experiencing operational challenges with servicing the volumes planned through the port. As a result, LPC has advised Maersk and other Ocean Carriers that they will be implementing a new berthing protocol for the foreseeable future to manage demand in the best possible manner, despite the critical situation.

In light of this, we have urgently reviewed our Southern Star offering, to limit impact from the current disruption to our customers’ supply chains. Through close collaboration with LPC and other stakeholders, we are pleased to advise our customers that we have secured a fixed berthing window for our Southern Star service in Lyttleton moving forward. This is an extremely positive development, as it allows us to offer you consistency in service, allowing you in turn to plan and execute effectively – which has become a rarity in our ever-changing environment recently.

We are thus pleased to announce that effective from the Rio Bravo 310N, the Southern Star will be berthing in Lyttleton on a fixed weekly window.

Subsequently we will/have enacted numerous contingencies to enable this fixed berthing window, as well as aid LPC in limiting their throughput to keep operations under control. This largely effects Timaru and Nelson import and export cargo, initially planned to tranship through Lyttleton to our international network. To minimise delays the Maersk Nansha and Maersk Nadi will carry the New Zealand export cargo from Nelson and Timaru direct Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas, instead of transhipping in New Zealand. This routing is being achieved by adding inducement calls on both vessels in our South East Asian hub ports.

For import cargo, we have already made the decision to bypass Lyttleton on the Rio Blanco 306S and are in the process of directing imports discharged in Port Chalmers for onward transport to their final destination. Going forward we do not anticipate further contingencies of this nature being necessary, due to the new fixed berthing window at LPC.

We trust that these positive and fast paced changes reinforce our commitment to serving your supply chain and the New Zealand market. We will continue to operate a flexible network to continue to minimise impact to your supply chain, despite the current operational disruption in New Zealand.

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