New Zealand’s government on Monday received the Aotea Maersk in Tauranga, the biggest container ship to have ever visited the country.
The 9,500 TEU vessel can carry almost twice as much cargo as any other container ship that has previously docked in New Zealand, according to the country’s Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
The vessel arrived in Tauranga as part of Maersk Line’s Triple Star service, which connects North East Asian ports and New Zealand.
“It will serve a new line between China, New Zealand and Chile, opening up new economic opportunities in Latin America. It will also offer a fast weekly direct service to important markets including China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan,” minister Bridges said.
Simon Bridges also said the government’s Roads of National Significance program is strengthening the key strategic routes that will be used to transport freight to and from ports handling these mega ships.
“The lower emissions per container generated by these vessels allow New Zealand exports to gain a relative carbon efficiency, compared to products from other competing markets,” the minister added.
Earlier this year, the Port of Tauranga revealed it expects to handle over one million TEUs in the year ended June 2017, following an upgrade which will allow larger ships to call at this port.