THE port of Noumea is returning to some normality after recent New Caledonian upheavals but carriers remain cautious about the impacts of the ongoing political situation.

Neptune Pacific Direct Line late last week advised its businesses are all “back up and running” in New Caledonia and all 16 NPDL staff from Noumea are safe and accounted for, after riots broke out on the island last week.

“While peace is being restored, our team on the ground have been doing all they can to ensure shipping services continue normally – and they are reaching out to local customers to understand their needs now that damages are being assessed,” NPDL said  

“Our next voyage to Noumea will be the Capitaine Magellan Voy 44 in Auckland from 1-2 June with a current ETA of Friday 7 June June in Noumea. All port services on the island are running as planned. The NPDL/Transam pack/unpack shed is on the Port in Noumea, which gives our customers additional security and logistics options.”

ANL, which last week diverted one of its ANZ Shuttle vessels, Contship Win, to trans-Tasman duties and dropped its Noumea call, confirmed today that the second shuttle vessel, ANL Tasman Trader, is now alongside in Noumea ex Brisbane and working normally. The next WPAC vessel for Noumea ex Auckland is Baldur, due 9 June.

Carriers said at this stage it was unclear what damage customers may have suffered during the riots and whether they are in a position to collect containers from the port.

Last Thursday French President Emmanuel Macron visited New Caledonia on an urgent peace mission, after six people had already been killed during the riots over proposed electoral changes the indigenous Kanaks believe will disenfranchise them.

Mr Macron delayed the voting changes and urged ongoing discussions with local leaders. But on Friday a policeman shot and killed a protester, re-igniting the pro-independence movement’s anger.