KiwiRail has entered the coastal shipping freight market with a new NZ Connect service.
The service responds to customers’ expectations of KiwiRail as a logistics partner and is a logical solution to provide innovative freight connections between Auckland and Christchurch following the Kaikoura earthquake earlier this month.
NZ Connect has been developed with the support of Ports of Auckland, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and ANL Shipping.
“The disruption to New Zealand’s key supply route between Auckland and Christchurch will continue for many months as the rail and road links are rebuilt,” says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy.
“Coming up with an alternative way of shifting freight for our customers was important, and KiwiRail is pleased it has been able to do this so quickly.”
The new service will shift cargo from Auckland’s Wiri Inland Port and KiwiRail’s Southdown Freight Hub to Lyttelton’s Midland Port or KiwiRail’s Christchurch terminal via ANL shipping services. Using rail in Auckland and Christchurch has the added benefit of further reducing truck congestion from already busy roads.
The new services will be available immediately.
A plan to extend the service to include return of freight from the South Island to the North Island is being finalised and should be announced soon.
“KiwiRail has always played a key role in keeping people and freight moving,” says Mr Reidy. “This is another example of our commitment to keeping New Zealand moving and helping to drive economic growth, even in the most difficult and volatile of times.”
From Melbourne ANL’s Managing Director John Lines says "ANL is committed to this new partnership opportunity supporting KiwiRail, and ANL has ample available capacity from Auckland to Lyttelton and around the New Zealand coast to ensure the continuity of KiwiRail's service to their customers."