Tuesday, April 23, 2024

First-ever supply chain strategy unveiled

New Zealand’s first-ever national freight and supply chain strategy will improve the productivity and resilience to disruptions of our ports, freight and shipping sectors, Transport Minister, David Parker said today.

The strategy, launched today at the Ruakura Transport Hub in Hamilton, is a joint government and industry initiative.

“The Aotearoa New Zealand Freight and Supply Chain Strategy identifies four new work programmes that will commence now,” Minister Parker said.

“These centre around ports, road freight and shipping decarbonisation, supporting data sharing through connected systems, and preparedness against disruptions and disasters.

“This work will help to ensure that New Zealand’s freight system is more efficient, reliable, and makes better contributions to the country’s climate goals.”

The Minister said work in these areas will include identifying strategic freight corridors and looking at operating models.

“It will include work to set up a grant scheme for clean heavy vehicles, and policy changes to better enable them to operate on our roads,” he said.

“COVID-19, severe weather events, and the war in Ukraine all highlighted vulnerabilities in our international freight connections that have limited the availability of key goods and services, raised prices, and created uncertainty.”

He described the strategy as a launch pad to working with port owners, port companies, shipping lines and freight operators on a more strategic and coordinated approach.

“Greater data sharing and inter-operability will allow government and the sector to have more visibility of their supply chains, helping freight to keep moving more efficiently in any future crisis.”

“New Zealand has already signed up to international agreements to reduce air pollution from ships. This strategy takes those commitments a step further, by working with the private sector on areas like research into zero-emissions technologies and encouraging businesses to use them.

“The strategy also supports decarbonisation of the trucking sector, by ensuring it is well positioned to shift to zero emissions vehicles. This includes removing regulatory barriers to battery and hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the launch of the clean heavy vehicle grant scheme,” Mr Parker said.

The strategy is backed by key industry figures. Roger Gray, Chief Executive of Ports of Auckland, says he fully supports the direction of the policy and the focus areas.

The policy sets the right direction for the future of the New Zealand supply chain,” he said.

James Smith, General Manager Policy and Advocacy at the National Road Carriers Association, says the system has been lacking the aspirational targets this document brings and the time horizons in the document are helpful.

“The collaborative focus of the strategy is what is necessary to face the challenges the strategy outlines,” said Mr James.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Freight and Supply Chain Strategy is available on the Ministry of Transport website.

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