Exporters look set to benefit more direct and frequent access to Asia's emerging economies as Maersk Line New Zealand reorganises its shipping schedule and introduces more vessels to the local route.
The changes, aimed at improving reliability, will see the world's biggest shipping company expand its current schedule by introducing direct services between Tanjung Pelepas, a major cargo hub in Malaysia, and Christchurch and Tauranga.
The announcement saw shares in Port of Tauranga, which operates the country's busiest export hub, rise 1.4 per cent to a historic high of $8.82.
"Over the past few months, the continuing high global demand for many New Zealand exports has meant space has been tight," said Maersk trade and marketing manager Dave Gulik.
"We're reasonably confident this level of demand will continue, and we are stepping up our service to meet it more efficiently."
The announcement comes as demand for New Zealand's commodities have reached record highs, with the ANZ Commodity Price Index at 342.5 in April, almost double that of the same month two years ago, largely driven by increased demand for milk, meat and, logs.
Maersk is also replacing its existing fleet four Dabou-class vessels with nine 2900-class vessels, which it says offer increased capacity and are better suited to carrying mixed cargoes.
The company said the changes will be effective as of August.