P&O Nedlloyd has introduced an enhanced weekly, fixed-day service between New Zealand and Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East Gulf.
Five vessels will provide the service at the key export ports of Auckland, Lyttelton, Napier and Tauranga, with fortnightly calls to be made at New Plymouth.
P&O Nedlloyd's general manager, sales and marketing for New Zealand, Rod McKenzie, said: 'These vessels will be reefer-friendly and geared to the needs of 40-foot containers, and will therefore better meet the requirements of New Zealand shippers.' Mr KcKenzie said container volumes had improved and the time was right for the carrier to enhance its service dedicated to the needs of Southeast Asian trade.
He said the upgrading was a result of the business developments that P&O Nedlloyd had made in the past three years.
The improved service also will provide weekly northbound calls to Brisbane and ports in Southeast Asia. In addition to Singapore, fixed-day weekly calls would be introduced to Port Kelang, he said.
The new service will offer an enhanced relay service for shippers to the Middle East Gulf and South Asia.
When the vessels visited Singapore, their cargo could be transferred to P&O Nedlloyd's Far East, Gulf and South Asia services. The services also would provide improved southbound coverage to New Zealand.
Previously, the service was offered using a combination of dedicated ships and others en route to destinations covered by other services.
Mr McKenzie said: 'We started off with two very different Southeast Asian services which had to be reviewed and combined.
'We have gone through two phases of interweaving these services, rationalising tonnage and improving schedules.' The new service provided flexibility, service coverage and weekly frequency while enhancing opportunities for the carrier's New Zealand customers, he said.
Mr McKenzie said by making this strong commitment to the market, P&O Nedlloyd had cemented relations with key New Zealand traders.
'We have a strong presence in this trade lane and are continuing to gain good support because of our multi-trade abilities,' he said.
'These service changes will ensure that we maintain that advantage.' Separately, P&O Nedlloyd has announced the inauguration of its Amazon Two service to complement its existing Amazon One service using four 350-teu (20 ft equivalent unit) vessels.
The service will offer fast transit times from Southeast Asia to the Amazon region, and open new markets in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia for cargo from the region.
Cargo will be relayed via Santos, connecting to Asia-South America service with Amazon Two.
Amazon Two also will enable P&O Nedlloyd to enhance its coverage of Salvador to and from Asia, now fortnightly, and to participate in the growing Mercosul trade.