Auckland container shortage crisis talks

Industry Database

An ongoing empty container shortage plaguing New Zealand's supply chain has led to a key stakeholder meeting being called to debate the challenges by Ports of Auckland (POAL).

Although issues are being reported throughout the country, as the capability of lines and equipment to handle growing trade volumes are being stretched, the shortage has been accentuated in Auckland, where a lack of reefer containers has been particularly noted.

It has been speculated that at least one of New Zealand’s major exporters is currently operating at about 5,000 units short of requirements and a steady procession of conventional reefer vessels has been noted departing the Port of Tauranga.

Albeit, Zespri shipping manager Mike Knowles — whose co-operative has recently transitioned to shipping about 66% of its volume in containers and 33% via reefer ships — says it is not leaving any product on the wharf.

“However, meetings such as the one arranged by POAL are useful to get a sense of how the industry is operating and to future proof our growth,” he told Port Strategy.

“As our export volumes continue to increase, we know that work will need to take place to manage our growing infrastructure requirements. We’re confident in our supply chain’s resilience and look forward to continuing to work closely with local ports and the New Zealand Shippers’ Council to manage this growth.”

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