Container export volumes up
The container trade was steady in FY20, with the impact of COVID-19 curtailing growth. The container business was bolstered by the new ANZEX shipping service, complementing the existing three services Kiwi Express/Capricorn, South East Asia and Trans-Tasman Kiwi.
CentrePort maintained the movement of volumes of essential goods during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.
Overall container volumes were steady, with a 7 percent increase in full TEUs exported.
CentrePort continued to facilitate essential movements during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, with enhanced health and safety measures in place meeting Government guidelines, to do the best by our customers and our people.
“Importers were very appreciative of Wellington’s approach in terms of extending free storage periods. We’ve had huge feedback from customers saying that they felt CentrePort had really partnered them. We didn’t charge storage costs if containers ended up staying on port longer than expected, and we really stood alongside people through COVID-19,”
– Andrew Locke, General Manager Commercial.
The COVID-19 lockdown in March and April provided challenges – but CentrePort’s status as an essential service meant it could operate at all alert levels. Processes and systems put in place to adapt to Government health requirements enabled the container business to continue to run smoothly.
“We never missed a beat with the customers. No container didn’t get loaded; no box didn’t get onto CentreRail. It was pretty seamless. That speaks volumes about the port’s resilience,” said Locke.
In the coming year CentrePort will be growing capacity and space at the port to continue to increase volumes and move more container cargo efficiently through the port.
New Shipping Service
The strength of CentrePort’s container service was enhanced this year with the introduction of the new shipping line, ANZEX/CNS/NCS, providing importers and exporters with direct access to the growing North East Asia market. The service complements the existing three services:
- Kiwi Express/Capricorn, operated by MSC, which provides global links via a mix of direct calls and transhipment.
- South East Asia/NZS/NZE/KIX, operated by ANL, COSCO, OOCL and PIL, shipping directly to South East Asia.
- Trans-Tasman Kiwi, operated by ANL shipping directly to Australia.
The ANZEX/CNS/NCS service provides exporters and importers with direct access to the Chinese and Chinese-territory ports of Hong Kong, Keelung (Taiwan), Shanghai, Ningbo and Shekou.
This service is operated by the ANL, COSCO, OOCL and PIL shipping lines, providing internationally proven capability and capacity.
The new service brought the number of shipping services at CentrePort to four, and will help us to continue to grow container volumes.
CentrePort welcomed the new shipping service on 10 June, with the arrival of the container vessel APL Denver.
The new service provides importers and exporters with greater access to and flexibility from CentrePort.
The news was a positive way to end the year for CentrePort and great news for these businesses, which continue to face a lot of uncertainty in importing and exporting due to COVID-19.
Fujitsu General is one of New Zealand’s top suppliers of heat pumps and air conditioning units – keeping Kiwi homes warm throughout the country.
The business imports 320 containers per annum, with the vast majority coming from China, Thailand and Japan.
Fujitsu General’s head office is in Seaview, Wellington, which includes a warehouse for incoming stock before it is moved throughout New Zealand.
This year, incoming volumes were impacted during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, which meant from late March until the end of April there were no containers moving.
“CentrePort gave us free days on port during lockdown which really did make it easier, and we ended up coming out of the situation quite well,” says Ian McLean, Warehouse Manager, Fujitsu General New Zealand.
McLean says the Fujitsu General team appreciate the work CentrePort and Andrew Locke, General Manager, Commercial, do to help facilitate efficient movement of goods through its warehouse.
“Andrew is very proactive, and he treats us as a customer with unique needs, rather than just a user of the port’s facilities.”
One of the ways CentrePort has helped improve Fujitsu General’s operational efficiencies is through working on a way to move priority containers as they arrive on port.
“At our site we only have capacity to deal with three containers at a time, and sometimes we have 10 arriving on a single vessel. Andrew Locke and the CentrePort team have worked with us and gone over and above to come up with a way to manage that flow and come up with better solutions.”
– Ian McLean, Warehouse Manager, Fujitsu General New Zealand.
Fujitsu General has worked with CentrePort since 1998.
“Location wise, it just makes sense to use CentrePort. Even with other ports nearby, the added transport time means you can lose days, or even weeks. CentrePort really helps with that efficiency and the time factor is critical for us,” says McLean.