Taiwanese carrier TS Lines has launched a dedicated liner service between China and New Zealand.
The boxship owner will deploy ships between 1,700 and 2,700 teu, calling at Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Nansha, Shekou and Tauranga.
The first vessel, which included the New Zealand call, departed Qingdao on Monday, servicing Tauranga as well as Auckland via Metroport.
The New Zealand port will initially be served fortnightly until the end of October, then weekly from November.
As an export-oriented nation, New Zealand has been strongly impacted by the global shipping challenges. An extreme shortage of liner calls to New Zealand in recent months has prompted talk among exporters of the need to create a national shipping line.
As for the 21st largest carrier, TS lines has been building its newbuilding orderbook this year, ranging in size from 1,100 to 7,000 teu. The latest orders have taken its owned fleet to 46 vessels on a fully delivered basis.