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Biggest Ever Single Shipment Of Zespri™ Kiwifruit

31 May 2005

Biggest Ever Single Shipment Of Zespri™ Kiwifruit

ZESPRI is today loading the biggest ever single shipment of ZESPRI™ Kiwifruit from New Zealand – more than 9,000 pallets on board the MV Knud Lauritzen, one of the largest refrigerated vessels ever built.

She will have 7,000 pallets of ZESPRI™ GREEN, ZESPRI™ GOLD and ZESPRI™ ORGANIC Kiwifruit under deck plus another 2,000 pallets in refrigerated 40ft containers above. The shipment, bound for Zeebrugge in Belgium, equates to more than 2.6 million trays of fruit, which is nearly 90 million individual pieces of fruit.

“It is the single biggest loading of kiwifruit from New Zealand,” said ZESPRI Chief Executive, Tim Goodacre.

The New Zealand Kiwifruit industry is in a unique position to be able to support the loading of a vessel of this size. “It is the economy of scale that ZESPRI has and the strength of the Single Point Entry and the ZESPRI™ System – the integrated orchard to consumer process – that allows us to load a vessel of this size and capture the efficiencies that it presents,” said Mr Goodacre.

“The co-operative onshore supply model with the Single Point Entry was established by growers for growers in order to gain critical mass in the market. Our collective size gives us shipping efficiencies that ultimately give better returns to growers.”

As well as the freight savings ZESPRI is making by maximising the total capacity of the vessel, shipping this volume of fruit gives much needed throughput for the coolstores, which are “bursting” at this time of year. It also delivers a significant volume of ZESPRI™ Kiwifruit in to the market at an optimum time.

The MV Knud Lauritzen is scheduled to depart the Port of Tauranga tomorrow (Wednesday 1 June 2005) and sails direct to Belgium, arriving 26 days later. Direct charters give ZESPRI the best transit times possible.

“ZESPRI‘s European marketing team, along with our customers and port operators in Europe are eagerly awaiting her arrival,” said Mr Goodacre.

ZESPRI is a billion dollar business and is New Zealand’s biggest horticultural exporter, accounting for 30 percent of New Zealand’s horticultural exports.

LauritzenCool New Zealand General Manager, Russell Watson said his company is delighted to be part of this historic shipment.

“We were involved in the first exports of New Zealand Kiwifruit; to be transporting the largest single shipment is fantastic.

“We have watched the growth of ZESPRI with considerable interest and their strength and size now places then firmly amongst the world's largest fruit companies and able to take the advantages offered by these super reefer carriers, an opportunity not available or possible for some others,” said Mr Watson.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Jon Mayson welcomed the vessel. “The loading of the Knud Lauritzen is another milestone for the kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty, and of the ongoing relationship between the Port of Tauranga, ZESPRI and LauritzenCool.”

The volume of fruit on board the MV Knud Lauritzen is a contrast to the just 2,500 pallets that formed the first ever New Zealand kiwifruit shipment to Japan in 1982, on board Lauritzen’s Wild Flamingo; and is more than double the first shipment to Europe in 1985.

Cool Carriers took the first charter cargo to Europe in 1985 on MV Nienburg. Lauritzen and Cool Carriers merged in January 2001 to form LauritzenCool.

This is the MV Knud Lauritzen’s first voyage to New Zealand and she is scheduled to return next season to potentially load another 9,000 pallets.

About the MV Knud Lauritzen The Knud Lauritzen, built in Denmark in 1991, is one of four Family Class vessels which were named after the family owners of J.Lauritzen A/S.

The company was founded by 18-year-old Ditlev Laurtizen in 1884 in the name of his father Jørgen. On Ditlev's death in 1935 his two sons, Ivar and Knud, shared control. Knud, a man of tremendous charisma and entrepreneurial skills, was the last family owner of the company, remaining at the helm until his death in 1978.

The Family Class, named after these men, are the largest specialised refrigerated vessels in the world, with 758,725 cubic feet of refrigerated space under deck and a refrigerated container capacity of 118 x 40' units.

Well ahead of their time when they were built at the company's shipyard, they are still regarded as among the most sophisticated reefer vessels in existence and, being highly automated, Knud Lauritzen has a crew of only 13 although she can physically be operated by a crew of only seven.


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