NORTHLAND Port has a new shipping link with the containership Northern Diplomat calling at the New Zealand port as part of a seasonal, fortnightly service offered by MSC starting in early May.
The service is slated to run for the remainder of the 2018 fruit export period.
Northport commercial manager David Finchett said the service represented opportunity for all industries across the region.
“Our goal is to build cargo volumes to the point where the service becomes regular instead of seasonal,” he said.
“If we can demonstrate consistent demand for this shipping link from Northland importers and exporters there is no reason why it should not become a weekly service instead of a fortnightly one.
“Like all things, if we don’t use it we’ll lose it. So we really hope that Northland makes the most of it.”
David Wilson, chief executive officer of Northland’s economic development agency Northland Inc, said new sea freight services linking the region directly with international markets presented significant opportunity for its economy.
“Until now many Northland businesses have had to incur cost and time penalties to either bring things in through, or ship products out of, other ports,” he said.
“Links like this one, using our very own local port, bring new levels of competitive advantage to Northland and should be both welcomed and supported by local business owners.”