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Shipping Federation celebrates


24 May 2007

Shipping Federation celebrates 100 years with confidence for the future

“Shipping is the transport mode of the future”, said Rod Grout, Shipping Federation President, at a function to celebrate the Federation’s 100 year anniversary.

Speaking to 70 invited guests, including Annette King, Minister of Transport, and Kerry Prendergast, Mayor of Wellington, Mr Grout said that ‘rising fuel prices, action on climate change and increased freight volumes, were combining to ensure a new era for coastal shipping in New Zealand’.

‘Road and rail lack the capacity to meet the doubling in freight volumes New Zealand will see over the next 10 to 15 years. Trucking freight long distances is causing congestion, wasting energy and damaging the environment. Sea freight is seen by Government and the private sector, as the way to reduce costs, energy use and emissions’.

Reviewing the Federation’s 100 years, Mr Grout said shipping began as ‘the number one’ transport mode, but then declined. During the 1980s-90s, the decline accelerated, the result of heavy Government subsidising of road and, to a lesser extent, rail’, he said.

‘Now, the Government realises it needs to invest in coastal shipping ,and promote the maritime sector as an efficient mode of transport, if it is to achieve its transport, climate change and energy efficiency goals’, Mr Grout said.

Mr Groat said the Shipping Federation is working with the Government to develop a Shipping Strategy, ‘to show the huge difference a shipping revival will make to New Zealand’s economic prospects and performance’.

‘New Zealand’s future depends heavily on our ability to move freight safely, reliably, efficiently and cleanly. Coastal shipping can accomplish all this and more, especially if it is allowed to compete alongside road and rail to provide a cost effective and fully integrated freight network’.

Mr Grout concluded by saying the Shipping Federation, ‘with the support of its members, the maritime industry, and central and local government, is presiding over a new era of expansion and prosperity for coastal shipping in New Zealand’.

Ends

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