The purpose of this Advisory is to inform you of progress to improve the movement of trucks and their goods in particular, livestock across Cook Strait.

Crossing availability

Firstly, all the vessels are back and there is now enough capacity for freight demand.

For livestock in particular, Interislander shared its weekly bookings data with Transporting New Zealand and MPI for the period up to the week ending 19 June 2022. Apart from the week 30 May to 5 June 2022, the data indicates there is spare capacity for livestock transport. To respect commercial sensitivities I cannot say explicitly how much capacity there is however, I can confirm it is significant when considered on a weekly basis.

There are operational constraints on the number of loaded livestock vehicle combinations that can travel on each crossing as the animals need good ventilation. Furthermore, the different configurations of the vessels also impact how many livestock vehicle combinations can travel on the respective vessels. As a result, to take advantage of that spare capacity, you may not be able to travel on the day and at the time you most desire, therefore forward planning is critical.

It appears the worst impacts of the servicing and maintenance on the vessels and the impact of Covid-19 on staff availability are now over. As a consequence, we are told there are vessels and personnel readily available to manage customer enquiries and make bookings. If you have not done so already, please schedule your livestock bookings with maximum lead-time and let us know if there are any problems.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to meet with MPI on a weekly basis to monitor this situation and will review this on an as-needs-basis. To help with forward planning MPI has undertaken to provide data on the live shipping exports that will be undertaken between now and the end of this calendar year as that will also impact demand on Cook Strait crossings.

For all other operators, please make every reasonable effort to align your bookings with expected demand as this helps free up capacity. In addition, please cancel bookings at the earliest opportunity as late notifications do not typically leave sufficient time for that space to be filled.