container shipping

Events In History

  • 5 October 2011
    Shipwrecked Rena spills oil into Bay of Plenty

    The container ship Rena astonished local mariners by grounding on the clearly marked Astrolabe Reef while approaching Tauranga Harbour. Flying the Liberian flag and under charter to the Mediterranean Shipping Company, the German-built Rena was the largest ship ever wrecked in New Zealand waters; although no lives were lost, in financial terms it was our costliest-ever shipwreck. Read more...


Container shipping

  • Container shipping

    Forty-five years ago, on 19 June 1971, the first all-container ship to visit New Zealand arrived in Wellington. Columbus New Zealand was part of a worldwide revolution in shipping. These simple steel boxes would change our transport industry, our ports and how we work and shop.

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  • Page 2 – The container is born

    A US trucker’s ‘out of the box’ solution led to the container shipping system we know today

  • Page 3 – Transforming shipping

    By the late 1960s, the valuable Atlantic trade was being containerised. New Zealand ports followed developments closely, since some ports were expected to lose much of their

  • Page 4 – Transforming our ports

    Containerisation changed the very look of our ports. In the 1970s the four cellular container ports – Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton and Port Chalmers – reclaimed land, filled

  • Page 5 – Transforming our economy

    Containers changed everything. Railways ordered fleets of flat-deck rolling stock and ‘daylighted’ tiny Victorian tunnels so they could get through. Truckers bought heavy-duty

  • Page 6 – Afterlife of shipping containers

    Most containers pass into the hands of a new industry that has arisen to modify them for other uses, or sell or lease them. The term ‘container architecture’ was coined to

  • Page 7 – The wreck of the Rena

    On 5 October 2011 the MSC-chartered, Liberian-flagged container ship Rena astonished local mariners by grounding on the clearly marked Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga. Three months

  • Page 8 – Further information

    Links and books related to container shipping