NZ Harbour Welcomes its Largest Container Ship
The largest Port in the South Island of New Zealand, Lyttelton Port, has welcomed its largest ever container ship.
The Singapore–flagged Rio de Janeiro, which can carry nearly 6000 containers and is the length of about three rugby fields, arrived early Saturday.
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) Chief Executive, Peter Davie said, “The Rio de Janeiro is a new class of ship to call at Lyttelton. She can carry 5,905 twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEUs), while the largest container vessels currently visiting Lyttelton commonly carry 4,500 to 5,000 TEUs.
“This is an important milestone for Lyttelton Port and our customers. We are delighted to welcome the Rio de Janeiro to Canterbury,” said Peter Davie.
Maersk Line Oceania Trade and Marketing Director, Hennie Van Schoor said, "In line with our advisory to New Zealand customers, Maersk Line confirms that based on the outcomes of our seasonal programme, we have decided to retain a consolidated Star network to/from South East Asia for 2019. This means the Northern Star service will not be returning and we will be offering our customers an upgraded Southern Star service, with pre- and on-carriage options for non-direct ports.
“The current Southern Star port rotation, put in place during the seasonal blanking programme, will be made permanent: Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Brisbane – Sydney – Tauranga – Napier – Lyttelton, Port Chalmers – Tanjung Pelepas
“The Southern Star will see the introduction of six Rio class vessels and these will phased in during quarter four, with all six vessels upgraded by January 2019. The Rio class vessels have a nominal capacity of 5,908 TEU and 1,365 reefer plugs compared to the current L-class vessels which have a capacity of 4,258 TEU and 1,109 reefer plugs.
“The Rio class vessels have a very good balance between increased overall TEU size and high reefer plug intake which make them very well suited for the Oceania market. Furthermore, the vessel design is wider than similar vessels, thus allowing for increased cargo load before reaching draft restrictions in shallower ports,” said Hennie Van Schoor.
The Rio de Janeiro is the first of six large ships that make up the service calling at Lyttelton.
Peter Davie said, “These larger ships bring economies of scale and offer long-term sustainable shipping solutions to our customers. Given Lyttelton is the country’s second largest export port, and South Island’s largest port it is vital we continue to provide our importers and exporters with direct connections to destinations all over the globe from Lyttelton.
“The Maersk South East Asia service takes our customers cargo to Singapore and Malaysia. These ports act as transhipment hubs, essentially cargo is dropped there and then loaded onto another vessel to go to other parts of the world. Cargo from Lyttelton includes products like dairy, meat, wool and timber products," he concluded.