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Maersk Line: Come Clean

24 August 2006

Maersk Line: Come Clean

A review by Maersk line, the largest shipping line operating in New Zealand, aimed at dramatically reducing its number of ports calls, could have a significant impact on regional economies, says New Zealand First Transport spokesperson Peter Brown.

The review by Maersk is aimed at rationalising their New Zealand port calls and is likely to reduce the number of ports they visit from the current nine to just five – two major and three secondary ports.

“Such a cut in the port calls by the dominant shipping company in New Zealand could have a major impact on several regions. Who, for example, would consider expanding or setting up an export base operation in a provincial port which might only appear to be one of those dispensed with? It will be estimated that there will be extra handling and transport costs which will deter expansion in the region.

“Maersk need to come clean. It is understandable that it wants to limit the number of port calls but it needs to indicate soonest which ones it is targeting, or at the very least the assessment criteria and an early announcement date.

“For the managing director of Maersk New Zealand Tony Gibson to joke that the decisions on which ports to cut could be made by the ‘toss of a coin’ appear somewhat irresponsible. Such remarks indicate that Maersk has no concern for the well-being of our regional economies. It is simply here to take our freight and our money!

“Maersk needs to urgently confirm to the affected parties what its plans are for they have a right to know. It should also advise whether any hubbing shipping service it intends to promote will be by fully manned New Zealand ships,” concluded Mr Brown.

ENDS

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