Industry Sets New Record for Loading Kiwifruit

Media Release - 20 July 2009

One hundred percent of the New Zealand-grown ZESPRI® Kiwifruit crop has been picked and packed and over 50 percent has been shipped to overseas markets to date. The kiwifruit industry’s supply chain partners have pulled together by breaking records loading two vessels at unprecedented speed this month.

ZESPRI® Kiwifruit was loaded onto Seatrade-operated reefer vessel Hansa Lubeck, in 16.5 hours using an eight pallet lifting cage. Historically 24 hours has been the benchmark so this was an outstanding result and a remarkable achievement for the industry. The Fresh Carriers Corporation-operated Asian Brier, which loads only two pallets at a time, was loaded in 21.5 hours, a week later which is another record load.

Ian Mearns, General Manager of Tauranga Kiwifruit Logistics Limited, the company which coordinates the New Zealand ship loading operations, commented:

“This is an outstanding effort by the whole industry - the growers, coolstores, transport companies, stevedores and ZESPRI. I attribute this result to a number of things including, product availability, additional buffer store space at the Port of Tauranga and the stevedores’ general performance. Everyone seems to be energised and motivated to be working harder than ever-before which is great to see. We really rolled-up our sleeves and worked together to get the job done. It is a good example of all parties, irrespective of which company you represent, working together with a common focus.”

Sally Gardiner, ZESPRI Supply Chain General Manager, remarked that streamlining of some processes had contributed to a smooth operation this season. “Most notably we have enhanced shipping documentation, planning and order execution, data and process. These improvements ensure that the industry is ready and willing to constantly evolve where possible in order to deliver the fruit to the markets in full, on time and maximise returns for kiwifruit growers.”

The final shipment of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit is expected to leave the Port of Tauranga in the first week of August. As the season for ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit is much longer, shipping continues for ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit through to November. The final ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit shipment has been scheduled to depart the Port of Tauranga mid-November, bound for Asia.

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