The New Zealand kiwifruit industry will be boosted by three specialized reefer vessels following significant investment by operator Fresh Carriers, underpinned by their confidence in the kiwifruit industry and their longstanding relationship with Zespri.
The first of three vessels, MV Kowhai, arrived at the Port of Tauranga recently to begin loading 4,219 tons of Zespri Kiwifruit ahead of its maiden kiwifruit voyage bound for Japan.
In recognition of the fact kiwifruit would be the main cargo transported, Fresh Carriers provided the kiwifruit industry with the opportunity to name the three new ships. Former grower Lynda Hawes’ suggestion of Kowhai was selected, symbolising the golden kiwifruit that continues to strengthen the bond between New Zealand and Japan, with the remaining two ships to be named Kakariki (Green) and Whero (Red), ensuring a full spread of Zespri’s portfolio of golden, green and red kiwifruit.
“Each year Fresh Carriers transports around 190,000 tonnes of kiwifruit from New Zealand, and we’re pleased to deliver the first of our three brand new vessels that will ship fruit to some of Zespri’s top Asian markets,” says
Oceanic Navigation Director Bruce Nisbet.
“The new vessels can ship more trays of kiwifruit through a higher deck, and the engines are built to the latest standards in fuel efficiency. New technology in the vessels also enable remote monitoring of fruit conditioning.
Fresh Carriers supplied 35 vessels to ship Zespri Kiwifruit to key North Asia ports this season, which is around 30 percent of this season’s fruit.