MAERSK Line and NZ’s Kotahi have signed a second long-term freight agreement they say will provide primary industry exporters with a stable, resilient and sustainable global supply chain.

Kotahi, NZ’s largest containerised freight manager, was established in 2011 by dairy company Fonterra and meat producer Silver Fern Farms, since joined by a number of other shippers, and signed its first deal with Maersk and the Port of Tauranga in 2014 in a quest to bring larger, more efficient ships to NZ.

The ground-breaking collaboration’s purpose of providing greater reliability to NZ ocean logistics, focusing on exporters’ needs, has been very successful, Maersk and Kotahi say, having shipped 1.8 million TEU or 23 million tonnes of NZ cargo to market, the majority being primary industry exports including dairy, meat, seafood, horticulture and forestry, through some challenging conditions.

Kotahi chief executive David Ross said global supply chain disruptions, from pandemic, geopolitical and climatic events have become the norm.

“The magnitude of this agreement is big, even by global standards, with an estimated NZ$160 billion value of primary export products given greater certainty and capability around delivery to market. The long-term agreement provides our shareholders, and exporters on our platform, with a backbone shipping network for reliable services to key export locations.

“During the peak of the Covid-19 disruption, Maersk was the standout carrier in choosing to bring additional vessel capacity and containers to NZ, which grew the capacity pie for the whole export market. This is an exciting partnership with Maersk. It enabled our exporters to stay competitive on the world stage and we look forward to the next 10 years,” Mr Ross said.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, said: “We are proud to continue our partnership with Kotahi, reaffirming our commitment to supporting NZ’s international trade and ensuring the resilience of its supply chains. Over the past decade, our collaboration has been instrumental in providing reliable and efficient ocean logistics solutions for NZ exporters, and we anticipate sustaining this momentum and further advancing our shared objectives in the years ahead.” 

Fonterra’s COO Anna Palairet noted that despite significant pressure on global supply chains over the past few years, Fonterra and many other NZ companies, had been able to keep products moving: “We’re looking forward to seeing what this next decade of partnership between Kotahi and Maersk brings.”