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
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow

Briefing [letter] to the Incoming Minister of Transport (2017)

A lot has happened since “Sea Change: A strategy for domestic sea freight” was published by the
outgoing Labour Government in 2008, some good and some not so good, and much remains the
same. That said, Sea Change has stood the test of time very well. It needs a refresh but there is no
need to start from zero.

New Zealand is still located a long way from anywhere. We are still reliant on maritime routes for
the overwhelming bulk of our imports and exports, as measured by tonnage. Maritime transport
still has an environmental advantage over other modes; and it still takes pressure off roads where it
is a viable option. The pathway to action in Sea Change is still a good place to start with a role for
government in:

  • providing a visible focal point
  • improving access to developmental finding
  • information gathering, and
  • work-force initiatives.

Read the document: