NEPTUNE Pacific Direct Line’s landing craft Norfolk has been delivered and is ready to sail after several months of delays.

NPDL said in a notice the crew was on board the vessel and were preparing to sail on Thursday 15 June.

The landing craft has been under construction in Sibu, Malaysia. It was due to commence services in May, but was sent back to the shipyard in April after it failed sea trials.

But NPDL has announced the vessel is now preparing to sail to Auckland – a voyage expected to take 28 days, weather permitting.

NPDL said the LCT Norfolk was designed to meet the shipping needs of the Norfolk Island community over the long-term.

“To allow unloading at the anchorage, she has been fitted out for a deck stowage of 36 TEU, with forward and aft void deck space for onboard devanning of containers,” NPDL said.

“Cargo handling machinery onboard includes two low beam forks and two Hiab cranes, each with a six-tonne lift capacity,” it said.

“For lifting cargo to lighters the low freeboard is an improvement on safety. Should in the future the port development project proceeds the vessel has a low draft and forward ramp for a roll-on-roll-off operation.”

NPDL said there is a “significant backlog of cargo” following the delays, and it plans to issue a trade notice to shippers with details on receival windows and packing requirements.