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Maersk Line extends international connections

October 12, 2006

Maersk Line extends international connections for New Zealand ports

New Zealand exporters sending goods to export markets stand to benefit from Maersk Line’s review of its global shipping network, according to Maersk New Zealand’s Managing Director, Tony Gibson.

Although negotiations with Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga with respect to which services will call at these ports are yet to be completed, the Line’s review of port calls would give regions better connections to global markets, he said.

“I am pleased to say that Maersk will continue to serve the nine ports it currently visits, although with a different service structure,” he said.

“Our Asia service, which hubs through Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia will employ four, 4100 TEU vessels on a weekly string, and now call Auckland or Tauranga, Napier and Port Chalmers.

“Our US East Coast Service, involving nine vessels on a weekly string, will call US East Coast, Auckland/Tauranga, Australia, Auckland/Tauranga, New Plymouth, Timaru, Port Chalmers and returning to the U.S East Coast.

“In addition, we will be upgrading our Pacific Islands service to cover more NZ ports and act as a feeder for exporters and importers to our US East Coast Service and our Tanjung Pelepas service.

“This feeder service will call Auckland or Tauranga, Lyttelton, Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga or Auckland and then fortnightly to the Pacific Islands.”

“We’re pleased with the outcome in terms of the greater connectivity it gives all our ports, as well as the operational control exporters gain through transhipment occurring in New Zealand.

“The decision to retain and improve connectivity for New Zealand ports gives Maersk the opportunity to work with all the key players, including customers and government, to plan for a 30 year horizon for infrastructure investment that will best serve New Zealand exporters long term.”

A key feature of Maersk’s wider network review is the replacement of Maersk’s direct service to Europe with a relay service through South East Asia, hubbing out of the APM Terminals operated Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, linking to Maersk’s extensive network of services to Europe and other continents.

Mr Gibson said that the relay service to Europe through Tanjung Pelepas was expected to maintain the current delivery times as Maersk’s current direct services and in some instances could improve times because US documentation rules would not longer apply.

He said that changes arose from a review of Maersk’s US East Coast, Europe and South East Asian services in order to create a more efficient network and scope of opportunities for customers.

Changes to Maersk’s US East Coast Services would give New Zealand exporters a choice of two additional ports on the US East Coast through the Panama canal, as well as linkages to Central and South American markets.

With Tanjung Pelepas operated by its sister company APM Terminals, Maersk could guarantee the quality of handling on its relay service, he said.

“The changes to the U.S. East Coast, Europe and South East Asia services have been undertaken to ensure New Zealand exporters and importers are well-served on Maersk’s global network and that we have an efficient structure of port calls that will best serve the entire New Zealand supply chain,” he said.

Mr Gibson said that Maersk was working with customers to ensure these changes on its global network improved efficiency, global connectivity and flexibility for individual customer supply chains.

ENDS

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