Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world's second largest container shipping line, has announced plans to start an Oceania Express Service with the Port of Tauranga as its only New Zealand port call.
The Oceania Express service will commence in October and include: Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane - Tauranga - Balboa - Long Beach - Melbourne.
MSC national operations director Mark Godfrey said the Port of Tauranga was a major New Zealand hub.
"We plan to trans-ship cargo from six other New Zealand ports utilising our three other services currently operating in New Zealand (Capricorn, Kiwi and Pacific Island services)."
Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said forecast container volumes were now expected to increase by approximately 20-25 percent, compared to the year ended June 2011, with approximately 40 percent of the increase attributed to transshipped cargo.
"We are delighted that MSC have chosen Tauranga as their New Zealand hub port and this announcement provides another tangible example of the structural change that is occurring in the New Zealand port sector."
He said Port of Tauranga would undertake significant capital expenditure at the container terminal over the next few years.