Stronger ties with NZ

EXPORTS and shipping services between Fiji and New Zealand are expected to be strengthened after the signing of an agreement between two shipping agents.

Swire, whose local counterpart is Pacific Agents, signed a conditional agreement to purchase Pacifica Shipping — a leading coastal ship operator and domestic cargo carrier.

Freight carried includes standard and high-cube containers, reefer containers, ISO containers, break bulk cargo, overweight and over-dimensional loads and hazardous goods.

“This acquisition also means Swire will now have greater connectivity with costal ports in New Zealand,” said Craig Strong, general manager Pacific Agencies (Fiji) Limited.

“This also means better control of services through the Swire network and also better space management for cargo from Fiji to New Zealand.

“For our Fiji exporters — this acquisition has seen an expansion of network within ports in New Zealand like Christchurch, Bluff, New Plymouth, and Dunedin due to more regular and fixed sailing.”

Mr Strong said China Navigation Company, the deep sea shipping arm of the multinational Swire Group, had signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire Pacifica Shipping from the Skeggs Group of companies in New Zealand.

Pacifica Shipping said in statement CNCo was a long term participant in New Zealand’s maritime and transport industry.

The first Swire vessel called to New Zealand 130 years ago. Today Swire has extensive interests in agencies, stevedoring, logistics and multipurpose liner shipping services.

Swire Shipping, CNCo’s liner shipping arm, currently operates five independent multi-purpose liner services from New Zealand to Asia, Australia, North America and the Pacific Islands.

Country manager CNCo New Zealand Brodie Stevens said the company was optimistic the purchase would be completed in the coming weeks.

“We will be increasing our investment in New Zealand’s shipping and logistics industry,” he said. Based on the sale proceeding, Pacifica will remain an independent operation headquartered in Auckland.

Steve Chapman, CEO Pacifica, said the company had found a traditional shipowner and operator who respected the history and recognised the significant contribution which Pacifica has made to the New Zealand transport industry.

CNCo’s vision is to be the leading provider of sustainable shipping solutions and its customers’ partner of choice, Pacifica Shipping said.

China Navigation Company, the wholly-owned, deep-sea ship owning and operating arm of the Swire Group, was founded in 1872 in Shanghai and started its operations trading on China’s Yangtze River.

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