Maersk and Kotahi recommit to a ten-year ocean freight partnership

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The renewal of a partnership between freight manager Kotahi and global shipping company AP Moller-Maersk has been hailed as a certainty for New Zealand exporters.

The two sides have extended their current partnership for another ten years, which they say will also provide stability and resilience to New Zealand’s international trade.

Kotahi chief executive David Ross said that following shipping disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic and geopolitical events, the partnership with Maersk provides exporters with a proven supply chain that allows goods to reach markets around the world.

“The size of this deal is large, even by global standards, with an estimated value of $160 billion in primary exports, given greater certainty and options around supply to the market,” he said.

Over the past decade, the partnership has shipped 1.8 million TEU (20 foot equivalent units) or 23 million tonnes of New Zealand cargo to markets, the majority of which is primary industrial products including dairy, meat, seafood, horticulture and forestry .

AP Moller-Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc, left, and Kotahi CEO David Ross have committed to a ten-year partnership in ocean freight. Photo: Bruce Jarvis Photography

NZ is small in the world trading system, which became apparent during the major shipping delays and disruptions caused by port and shipping congestion during the pandemic.

Ross said Maersk responded by providing additional shipping capacity and containers for New Zealand exporters due to its partnership with Kotahi.

“If the partnership had not existed, I doubt this would have happened,” he said.

Ross said the response and freight service and capacity provided by this extension of the partnership should give exporters confidence.

He said global supply chains will face major changes in the coming years due to geopolitical tensions and climate change.

This partnership will ensure NZ is involved in meeting these challenges and changes.

Maersk aims to be CO2 neutral by 2040.

Kotahi was founded in 2011 by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms and signed its first long-term agreement with Maersk and the Port of Tauranga in 2014.

Maersk, in partnership with Waikato-Tainui, recently opened a $140 million, 18,000 sq m cold store in Ruakura, which can accommodate almost 30,000 pallets in both cold rooms and blast freezers.