Port Otago has welcomed back a weekly shipping service from the world’s third-largest shipping service, after a four-year hiatus.

The discontinuation of the service was triggered by Covid-19 and the resulting supply chain disruptions.

The first ship to make the voyage was CMA CGM Semarang which arrived in Port Chalmers on Wednesday night and was scheduled to depart yesterday about 9pm.

In Australasia, CMA CGM operates as ANL — a shipping line originally established by the Australian government in the 1950s and bought by France-based CMA CGM Group in 1998.

Port Otago commercial manager Craig Usher said the return of the service was great news, especially with peak season approaching.

“It’s particularly good for our customers because it’s a reliable weekly service, and because it links in with four other CMA CGM services that carry product to our exporters’ key global destinations.

“ANL’s reputation for providing a quality service is well recognised. It’s excellent to have them back in the mix.”

The ANL service would operate in a Wednesday shipping window.

“Our other three core shipping services operate to Friday to Tuesday windows, so this mid-week window is helpful for optimising our infrastructure and smoothing out our team’s workload.”

CMA CGM Group Agencies general manager Gary Carter said the new rotation marked a positive development in the group’s commitment to the lower South Island.

“ANL serves as a key link to global destinations for exporters and importers.

“With a reliable major carrier, global market access, new-build reefers [refrigerated container carriers] and a dedicated Oceania-based team, ANL stands out by understanding and supporting the complex needs of the Oceania market.

“The timing is crucial to leverage CMA CGM’s capabilities, and the acquisition of a fourth ship expedited the introduction of this enhanced service.”

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