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Coastal shipping picks up slack

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016

© Marty Melville/Getty Images While the military focuses on getting supplies into quake-hit Kaikoura and people out, businesses have nutted out ways of getting freight for everyone else around it.

Most of New Zealand's imports arrive in Auckland and trucks and trains take them elsewhere, along with some coastal shipping.

With State Highway 1 around Kaikoura covered by slips and the rail line dislodged after the 7.8 quake on Monday a main freight route is severed. Centreport in Wellington is also damaged.

Businesses made two announcements on Friday with solutions to get freight moving better around the country post-quake.

Ports of Auckland (POAL) and state-owned KiwiRail have agreed a deal to provide more freight capacity between Auckland and the lower North Island.

This involves daily rail link between the Auckland sea port and inland ports at Wiri in south Auckland and Longburn, Manawatu.

Ports of Auckland, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and KiwiRail have also joined forces to get domestic freight from Auckland to Christchurch.

Freight demand on New Zealand's busiest domestic sea route, Auckland to Christchurch, has doubled following the quake.

Extra capacity has been opened up at the ports and KiwiRail is ramping up rail services from the ports' inland hubs.

"Coastal shipping will now play an important role in serving the needs of affected communities," said Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson and Lyttelton Port of Christchurch chief executive Peter Davie.

CentrePort has said with the support of various agencies, suppliers and customers, it managed to resume key parts of its business within 72 hours of the quake.

It expects to welcome a cruise ship on Monday.

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