KiwiRail announces new NZ Connect rail freight service
KiwiRail launches new NZ Connect service, which aims to aid businesses across New Zealand struggling with port and shipping line disruptions due to COVID-19.
A new weekday rail service between Auckland and Christchurch is being launched to help New Zealand businesses grappling with disrupted ports and shipping lines.
“KiwiRail’s NZ Connect service will boost capacity and connections for moving domestic rail freight between the North and South Islands, in time for peak season,” said Greg Miller, Chief Executive of KiwiRail Group.
“We are heading into the country’s busiest period for freight, from October through to March, a time when businesses look to restock ahead of Christmas and New Year when demand for products increases, and exports rise.
“Many businesses are still feeling the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the global supply chain and are experiencing delays on imported goods. Shipping lines continue to struggle to offer certainty of capacity and delivery for the movement of freight between the islands.”
“KiwiRail has identified this gap in the market, so it is stepping up to relieve some of these pressures by offering a faster and more certain domestic service than currently is available from shipping lines alone,” added Greg.
He further commented: “From early October, NZ Connect will depart Auckland daily Monday to Friday and connect with our Interislander ferries before continuing to Christchurch.
“Using 60-ft wagons it will provide up to 300 TEU (20-ft equivalent container units) of additional weekly capacity, alongside the weekly services we already offer.”
“No company is more Kiwi than KiwiRail and this new service is part of our commitment to keep New Zealand moving, as we are during Alert Level Four, running freight trains across the country to keep New Zealand businesses and families supplied,” said Greg.
“Congestion in New Zealand’s supply route between Auckland and Christchurch will continue for the foreseeable future until global shipping capacity and reliability return. In the meantime, our teams are working hard for our customers.”