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Kotahi and Maersk Enter Second Decade of Committed New Zealand Export Freight Partnership

New Zealand’s export sector, Kotahi, the nation’s largest containerized freight manager, and global logistics giant A.P. Moller – Maersk have signed a new long-term freight agreement. This partnership, extending to December 2034, aims to secure a stable, resilient, and sustainable global supply chain for New Zealand’s primary industry exporters.

This deal is monumental, with an estimated NZ$160 billion in primary export products set to benefit from enhanced delivery certainty and capacity. In an era where global supply chain disruptions—whether due to pandemics, geopolitical tensions, or climatic events—are commonplace, such a steadfast partnership offers much-needed resilience and agility for New Zealand’s international trade.

David Ross, Chief Executive of Kotahi, highlighted the significance of this agreement. “During the peak of the Covid-19 disruption, Maersk was the standout carrier, bringing additional vessel capacity and containers to New Zealand. This grew the capacity pie for the whole export market,” Ross noted. He emphasized the excitement surrounding the continuation of this partnership, which he believes will keep New Zealand exporters competitive on the global stage.

A decade ago, Kotahi and Maersk began their collaboration to provide greater reliability to New Zealand’s ocean logistics, particularly catering to the needs of the country’s exporters. Over the past ten years, the partnership has facilitated the shipment of 1.8 million TEU, equivalent to 23 million tonnes of New Zealand cargo, predominantly from the primary industries like dairy, meat, seafood, horticulture, and forestry. These shipments have navigated some challenging conditions, proving the robustness of the partnership.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, expressed pride in the continued collaboration. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Kotahi, reaffirming our commitment to supporting New Zealand’s international trade and ensuring the resilience of its supply chains. Our collaboration has been instrumental in providing reliable and efficient ocean logistics solutions for New Zealand exporters,” Clerc said.

Anna Palairet, Chief Operating Officer at Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest exporter of dairy products, also welcomed the deal. “Despite significant pressure on global supply chains over the past few years, Fonterra and many other New Zealand companies have been able to keep products moving. We’re looking forward to seeing what this next decade of partnership between Kotahi and Maersk brings,” Palairet stated.

The partnership has proven particularly beneficial for Fonterra, allowing the company to manage record export shipments without resorting to more expensive, non-containerized freight options. Moreover, the collaborative efforts have helped many export customers get their products into markets when other options were unavailable.

Further cementing its commitment, Maersk recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art cold-store facility in Ruakura, demonstrating its dedication to investing in local infrastructure and fostering collaboration with customers in New Zealand. This move is part of Maersk’s broader strategy to enhance integrated logistics solutions, leverage technology-enabled logistics, and promote sustainability in the supply chain.

The continued partnership between Kotahi and Maersk is expected to propel New Zealand’s supply chain capabilities to new heights, ensuring that the country remains a formidable player in the global export market. With the next decade of collaboration, the focus will be on maintaining reliability, efficiency, and sustainability, crucial factors in navigating the complexities of modern global trade.

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