Customer Focus: Tackling a meaty issue

For the first time in decades, Lyttelton Port was host to a specialised refrigerated vessel chartered to export processed, palletised meat.

The Orange Stream, which is operated by Greenseas, was alongside LPC’s cruise berth in mid-July to pick up pallets of meat that will be directly shipped from New Zealand to the USA’s west coast for distribution.

The Orange Stream loading Affco meat.

While dedicated refrigerated vessels were an essential part of the meat export industry since its inception in the 1880’s, the invention of the temperature-controlled refrigerated containers (reefers) in the mid 1970’s quickly dominated the supply chain due to the container ships’ larger capacity and efficiency.

This was until the impacts of COVID-19 combined with congestion in the international supply chain has meant that empty reefer containers are becoming harder to source.

Oceanic Navigation General Manager Toby Moors says it is a historic moment to see the reintroduction of reefer vessels to New Zealand’s meat export supply chain.

“It’s great to work with Affco who chartered this vessel, and help relieve the pressure on cold stores that we are currently seeing.

“These vessels are a direct form of distribution, ensuring international markets can still access great New Zealand product from companies like Affco and exporters are able to successfully manage volume to their customers.”

With the effects of COVID-19 and other supply chain congestion looking to be ongoing, Toby believes that this won’t be the last time we will see reefer vessels supporting meat exports in Lyttelton.

“This is the fourth vessel we have chartered this year and its likely this will continue into 2022.”

LPC is proud to play a part in this innovative solution to support New Zealand’s meat exports and it’s fantastic to see our cruise berth used by different bulk cargo operations.

Subscribe for the latest Port news