Govt unveils freight and supply chain strategy

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 25, 2023

The Government has launched New Zealand’s first-ever national freight and supply chain strategy.

A joint government and industry initiative, the strategy articulates a long-term vision for the freight and supply chain to be underpinned by zero-emissions freight transport; resilient, reliable, and prepared for potential disruptions; and highly productive and efficient. It outlines what needs to be done over three time-horizons.

Transport Minister David Parker said the strategy will boost the productivity and resilience of New Zealand’s freight connections, and improve the productivity and resilience to disruptions of the country’s ports, freight and shipping sectors.

The strategy identifies four new work programmes that centre around ports, road freight and shipping decarbonisation, supporting data sharing through connected systems, and preparedness against disruptions and disasters.

Parker said the 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.

“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. This strategy is a launch pad to work with port owners, port companies, shipping lines and freight operators on a more strategic and coordinated approach.”

Parker said greater data sharing and interoperability 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,” he said.

“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.