Coronavirus: Container ship with covid-19 risk bypasses Port Nelson
Despite turning away a container ship due to coronavirus risk over the weekend, Port Nelson remains “full steam ahead”.
Port Nelson chief executive Hugh Morrison said activity at the port was strong.
“The port is an essential service and primary industry is an essential service … as a consequence the Port continues to be very busy,” he said.
“All in all it is full steam ahead, with the occasional bump while we absorb changes in government criteria.”
Morrison said the Mediterranean Shipping Company container vessel Cali bypassed Nelson on Saturday due to concerns over the covid-19 status of the vessel related to a recent crew change.
It is understood the cargo from this vessel will be re-routed back to Nelson.
Morrison said no changes to staffing levels or service levels were planned at the port at this stage.
However, one area of uncertainty was the forestry sector, which is not listed as an essential service.
There was also uncertainty about the ability to export logs and timber that was in storage.
Container and log vessels are scheduled to arrive in the coming days, while also collecting or unloading other cargo such as scrap metal.
Delivery of containers to the apple and kiwifruit exporters and others is continuing and returned full containers are being received. Wine exports remain strong.
To further support what is expected to be a bumper apple harvest, Morrison said a key exporter was looking to bring an additional vessel into port mid-April to upload apples.