Benefits of shipping:
Resilience for natural disasters or emergencies.
Ships carry hazardous / dangerous cargo more safely than road, rail and air.
15% of New Zealand's inter-regional freight is carried by sea
Ships can handle oversized, heavy and bulky cargo that road, rail and air can't.
Freight volumes are forecast to increase 50% by 2040.
It won't all fit onto our roads!
New Zealand’s total freight task: 278.7 million tonnes.
Coastal shipping carries approx 10 million tonnes (3.5%).
1.15m people are transported across the Cook Strait every year
The volume of domestic freight moved by shipping has increased 50% over the last 10 years.
Approx $28 billion road and rail freight is shipped between the North and South Islands each year
1 standard container Auckland to Christchurch:
road: $2200-$3000
rail: $1300 - $1900
ship: $850 - $1300
418,470 containers are moved around the NZ coast per annum
Shipping: one-eighth the emissions of road per tonne of freight moved
Benefits of shipping:
Lower emissions per tonne of freight moved.
Increasing total freight carried by ship by just 2% would reduce total transport emissions by 16%.
Benefits of shipping:
Greater control over our domestic supply chains.
Shipping: 60% the emissions of rail per tonne of freight moved
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About Us

A Voice For Shipping


The New Zealand Shipping Federation was established in 1906 and is the key representative body for New Zealand’s coastal ship operators.

A full history of the New Zealand Shipping Federation can be found in “A Voice for Shipping” by Gavin McLean, published in 2009.


Chatham Islands Shipping

Chatham Islands Shipping Limited (CISL) is the sea freight provider between the Chatham Islands (including Pitt Island) and mainland New Zealand. For this purpose, CISL is operates the vessel MV Southern Tiare and freight depots in Waitangi (Chatham Islands), Napier and Timaru. CISL plays a vital role in supporting the remote community of the Chatham Islands, providing critical infrastructure and services via the sea transport of general cargo, fuel and livestock. CISL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust (CIET), has charitable status and operates on a non-for-profit basis. CIET was established in 1991 for the benefit of the community of present and future inhabitants of the Chatham Islands.

Coastal Bulk Shipping

Coastal Bulk Shipping keeps New Zealand’s regions, communities and industries connected. Coastal Bulk Shipping operates the M V Anatoki and the Rangatahi, which carry bulk cargo such as wheat, dolomite, cement and fertiliser.


Holcim operates two ships carrying cement to ports around New Zealand.


KiwiRail operates the Interislander service between Wellington and Picton. This consists of three ships making more than 4,000 crossings each year carrying over 800,000 passengers and nearly 220,000 passenger-accompanied vehicles. In addition, the fleet moves over 2 million lane metres of freight, including rail, each year.


NIWA owns and operates a fleet of state-of-the-art coastal and oceanic research vessels to support marine survey research and development, focused on enhancing the benefits of New Zealand’s marine and geological resources. All three vessels are also available for commercial charter.


For 30 years now, Pacifica Shipping has been New Zealand’s leading coastal ship operator and domestic cargo carrier. Pacifica offers total transport solutions for producers, manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, and other shipping companies, combining the environmental advantages of coastal shipping with efficient distribution and door-to-door deliveries.
Pacifica operates New Zealand crewed and flagged vessels on the New Zealand coast, and is a proud member of the New Zealand Shipping Federation. With calls in the key ports in the North and South Islands on a weekly basis, Pacifica Shipping is an integral part of New Zealand’s vital transport infrastructure.

Silver Fern Shipping

Silver Fern Shipping operates a double-hulled tanker moving oil products (fuel and bitumen) from Marsden Point to ports around New Zealand.

StraitNZ Bluebridge

StraitNZ Bluebridge provides a vital link in New Zealand’s supply chain. Operating two dedicated roll-on, roll-off ferries between Wellington and Picton, Bluebridge transports the majority of New Zealand’s road freight task and hundreds of thousands of passengers and their vehicles across Cook Strait every year. Bluebridge is committed to giving customers great value with dedicated private cabins, freshly prepared meals, and authentic Kiwi service on every sailing.