Olomana off route

Saturday May 02, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
Cargo vessel Island Chief has temporarily replaced Olomana. 20042926 Cargo vessel Island Chief has temporarily replaced Olomana. 20042926

A significant downturn in freight volumes to the Pacific will not affect the shipment of goods to the Cook Islands, shipping agents say.

But Matson Shipping have swapped out a regular visitor to the country, Olomana, for the Island Chief.

Martin Brown of Atlas International Freight said Matson Shipping had temporarily suspended Olomana’s operations until such time that freight levels return to normal.

There has been a slowing demand for freight resulting from the Covid-19 crisis.

For the Cook Islands, cargo vessels Island Chief and Liloa II will cover the country fortnightly.

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Brown said: “In many ways for the Cooks this is preferable and easier to plan orders with a fortnightly service rather than a gap of 14 days and then a gap of 10 days to the next ship and so on.”

Liloa II is due to arrive to Rarotonga on May 6 and Aitutaki on May 8.

Island Chief is scheduled to arrive Rarotonga on May 21 and Aitutaki May 23.

In a customer notification, Matson South Pacific said Liloa II and Island Chief will continue with both vessels calling Nuku’alofa, Fiji, Samoa, and the Cook Islands.

Matson and the services that aid their operations are considered “essential businesses” supporting critical transportation infrastructure to the South Pacific.

“Matson is committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure the continuation of services.

“We are monitoring developments closely and ensuring compliance with local and international government reporting and prevention directives at sea and ashore.”

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