Bringing the Best of New Zealand to Global Markets
New Zealand is home to a rich agriculture industry and has a reputation for its high-value diverse market that offers a range of products distributed both within the country and exported globally. We had the opportunity to talk with Tarryn Van Greuning about the region’s renowned agricultural industry, along with its challenges and opportunities.
What sets New Zealand’s refrigerated export industry apart, and how do you see the country’s role in the global market?
New Zealand’s refrigerated export industry is all about agriculture and food products. Think dairy, meat, fresh seafood, and a wide range of fresh produce like apples, kiwifruits, onions, and avocados leading the way. New Zealand is often compared to a giant farm due to its significant contributions to global export volumes which are primarily headed to destinations in Asia, Europe, the USA, and the Indian Subcontinent.
What recent shifts have occurred in New Zealand’s fresh produce export market?
Historically, New Zealand has supplied Asia and Europe with the majority of its apples, while a smaller market existed in the USA. In recent years, supply chain challenges have caused a slight reduction in volumes heading to Europe. As a result, more volumes are now being shipped to Asia. Nonetheless, New Zealand’s supply of consumable dairy and meat products continues to be in high demand worldwide.
What do you think has been the driving force behind these changes?
Back during the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity, and equipment for exporting out of New Zealand were extremely tight. However, since ZIM entered the New Zealand market in 2021, we were able to provide additional capacity and supply, eventually leading to a significant increase within the network.
Fast forward to 2023, we’re seeing a different picture. Equipment and capacity supply is better than ever, and readily available. This means that we are able to better meet the needs of our customers and ensure that they receive their shipments in a timely manner.
I would say that our success in the market is due in large part to our customer-focused approach. We prioritize our customers and make sure that they receive the support and assistance they need throughout the entire process. Whether it’s a simple phone call or a more complex issue, our friendly and dedicated customer service and sales team is always there to help. We’re looking forward to continuing to provide them with the highest level of service and support possible.
What agricultural products can be shipped out of New Zealand, and what is their unique export route with ZIM?
We provide excellent export solutions for a wide range of agricultural products including our local apples, frozen meat, fish, and vegetables to different parts of the world. When it comes to shipping these goods, one of our unique export routes is through our direct express service from New Zealand to Australia (N2A), which connects to destinations in Southeast Asia via TFX (Thailand Fremantle Express) and Northern Asia via CAX (China Australia Express), as well as other services reaching the Indian Subcontinent and the USA.
Can you tell us more about the process that ensures customers receive fresh products on a regular basis, considering the challenges that come with shipping perishable goods?
We understand that customers value fresh, high-quality produce, and we’re committed to delivering that to them in the most efficient and reliable way possible. When it comes to shipping produce, one of the biggest challenges is the need to get them to market as quickly as possible. By using the wide network of transshipment opportunities provided by ZIM, customers can rely on us to provide a steady and stable supply of fresh produce.
Additionally, being agile is crucial in the world of export, and recent weather conditions in New Zealand proved just that. A cyclone hit an area called Napier, which is known for its apple production. The orchards were affected, and overall volumes were down. Fortunately, we were able to adapt quickly to the situation. We had demand out of a different port, Port Chalmers, on our rotation out of New Zealand. Previously, we called Napier on a weekly basis, and Port Chalmers fortnightly. We were able to switch the Napier call to a fortnightly call and increase our Port Chalmers call to a weekly one, in accordance with the changing demand.
We are always on the lookout for ways to better serve our customers and meet market needs. As demand shifts, we can reevaluate where our vessels call to ensure we provide the best service possible.