- 04 November 2021
Service Announcement New Zealand | Freight Volumes
As we head towards the Christmas period, we are facing a different set of challenges than last year when COVID-19 Alert Level 1 settings across New Zealand allowed us to trade through and manage traditional high season freight volumes.
Peak Season Update
This year, increased COVID-19 restrictions, an exceptional upswing in home deliveries as businesses shift to online trading, and major inter-island freight disruption are all factors that are slowing down supply chains.
We would like to remind all customers, as we head towards Christmas, it is prudent to allow an additional 1-2 working days to transit times.
Inter-island FreightToday we have been advised by KiwiRail that the Aratere has suffered a mechanical issue that will impede inter-island sailings. The situation is compounded with the Kaiarahi already off-service with gear box issues since September, leaving one fully functional ferry for KiwiRail, plus Bluebridge services.
We believe KiwiRail is exploring an option to commission an alternative offshore vessel to replace lost capacity across the Cook Straight. However, should this eventuate, the timing is unlikely to be soon enough to alleviate high season volumes.
We recommend early communication with your receivers. Please liaise with your local branch, who will be able to advise details of altered inter-island transit times as they emerge.
Other Contributing FactorsOur Warehouses are also experiencing challenges, as shipping and offshore manufacturing delays result in large numbers of containers arriving at irregular intervals with inbound inventories, creating pressure to fulfil back orders and discharge large batches of containers. Our teams wish to thank our customers for their continued understanding.
We expect the reopening of retail and other businesses residing in COVID-19-restricted areas will additionally create further resupply challenges and urgency. The supply chain is finite in capacity including resources, and we ask for an allowance of time as our teams manage this eventuality.
Our Air & Ocean teams wish to convey their appreciation for the ongoing support in difficult times as they design solutions to navigate global port congestion, equipment shortages and space constraints.
SummaryTo help, we ask that customers:
Book early – When we receive consignment note uploads and freight early in the day, we can plan more effectively and improve segregation, linehaul capacity, etc.
Adjust transit expectations – Where possible, please communicate with your customers/receivers around when they need product. Whilst our aim is to get consignments to receivers in line with expectations, there will be delayed shipments. To avoid over-promising and under-delivering, it is important that transit tolerances are extended for reasons outlined earlier.
Urgent Shipments – Please advise urgent consignments through to our customer services team. They can provide available service options and tracking.
Home deliveries – Home deliveries slow down any network, as seen with most courier operators. Simply providing us with a receiver’s mobile/text number allows improved communication to complete deliveries.
Inter-island movements – Delays are imminent, and we will look to provide further updates as more information comes to hand.