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LOCALLY DISTANCING WHILE GLOBALLY CONNECTED

Posted on 06/04/2020

As New Zealand moves into week two of COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, we are all beginning to find our new rhythm and way of working. This new norm is being seen the world over, and while we grow more socially distant, the pandemic has highlighted how globally connected we are, not just in circumstance but also through the global supply chain.

At Port Nelson while it is business as usual in a sense, it has meant adopting to fluctuating cargo rules and volumes, and the introduction of strict social distantancing, clean and safe working practices, as guided by the Ministry of Health.

Operationally, all corporate staff are continuing their work from home and essential workers on port have been split into work cells with tight criteria over both work practices and the mixing of these cells. These practices are in addition to regular health and safety practices in place for the important work of bringing vessels in safely, unloading and loading them, handling and storage of cargo, and maintaining the security of the customs controlled area. External essential workers who must access the port, continue their roles in isolation and under government guidance.   These practices have been adopted quickly and practicably which has allowed port services and the supply chain to continue with limited interruptions.

Strict working practices have had to be implemented in New Zealand and worldwide to curtail the spread of COVID-19. For our exporters in the primary industry particularly wine, apples and kiwifruit who are in peak harvest, this has seen an impact on productivity with reduced numbers of able workers and socially distanced working practices potentially reducing efficiency. With a bumper season across industries, vineyards and orchardists are working to the best of their ability within these practices to rapidly harvest grapes off vines to fermentation or pipfruit off fruit trees and through cool stores on to consumers. Port Nelson is looking where possible to support this influx of containers by creating room on port with the clearing of non-essential cargo. 

fruit seasonality 

 SEASONALITY AND VOLUMES OF FRUIT EXPORTS BY REVENUE TONNES (K) JULY  2018 – MARCH 2020

 

Over the last few weeks QuayConnect has seen a marked growth in the arrival of wine bottles for the Nelson and Marlborough regions as wineries ramp up bottling in preparation for the processing of the 2020 vintage.  Wine producers advise that while global retail demand has increased, on trade demand has been negatively impacted by the closure of hospitality venues across the globe.  At this stage QuayConnect is absorbing this increased retail export demand with finished product and dry goods storage almost at capacity in the Patterson Logistic Centre and is making plans to use additional on-port storage.

 

export wine and import bottle

   WINE BOTTLE IMPORT + WINE EXPORT VOLUMES BY REVENUE TONNES (K) JULY 2018 – MARCH 2020

 

While we have just completed week one of isolation, the constant change we have seen in the last seven days has emphasised how interconnected we are and just how important, not just New Zealand but Nelson is in the global supply chain. Along with maintaining on-going safety protocols, Port Nelson will remain flexible to government instruction, particularly those impacting trade, and continue to collaborate closely with our staff, customers and  national network of Ports to enable the safe delivery of essential services and where possible an uninterrupted supply chain to keep the New Zealand and global economy moving during these tricky times

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For further information contact: jennie.harrison@portnelson.co.nz