NZX-listed Move Logistics has launched an inter-island cargo vessel, the first stage of its plan to develop a regular alternative coastal shipping service to help ease the supply chain squeeze.
The New Plymouth-based company's inaugural sea venture was taking a load of locally-made water pipes from Whanganui to Canterbury in September on the chartered NZ-flagged vessel MV Anatoki.
Executive director Chris Dunphy said the trip took multiple heavy trucks off New Zealand's roads, and signalled Move's intention to develop a regular coastal freight service using secondary ports such as Whanganui, Nelson and New Plymouth.
"We believe regional development and infrastructure funds should be directed towards facilitating this initiative, and have opened conversations with the Government to that end," he said.
Calls for Government backing for coastal shipping services have escalated since the Covid pandemic triggered a global shipping boom and soaring consumer demand for goods, resulting in a supply chain crisis with shipping delays, trebled freight costs, missed port calls and empty shelves for New Zealand retailers and manufacturers.
The Government has responded by including coastal shipping in its transport planning.
Dunphy said Move, until August known as TIL Logistics, was progressing towards lower carbon-emitting transport options for freight across the board.
The company, whose origins go back 150 years, last month announced its intention to raise around NZ$40 million of new capital. Proceeds of the offer would provide balance sheet flexibility to allow Move to accelerate a brand refresh, complete a restructure and fund further capital initiatives, including in information technology, the company said at the time.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The offer would also enable it to modernise its fleet and enter into maritime and intermodal equipment leases.
Move said it will import New Zealand's first hydrogen-powered trucks early next year.
"We're moving towards a modally neutral model where we focus our energies on transport which has the least impact on the environment, whether that is shipping, trains or alternative-fuel trucks," Dunphy said.
Move says it is one of the largest domestic freight and logistics businesses in New Zealand, with a nationwide network of branches, depots and warehouses. It operates through five divisions: freight, logistics and warehousing, fuel, international and specialist lifting and equipment.