The transfer of the service will take place this weekend and will see Auckland lose 52 ship calls, 123,600 teu and nearly NZ$20m (US$15.5m) in revenue annually.
According to Tony Gibson, chief executive of Ports of Aucklands (POAL), Maersk explained that the possibility of further industrial unrest was central to its decision. As a result of the news, the port postponed proposed mediation with the Maritime Union of New Zealand – Local 13 (MUNZ), who has called for a series of strikes.
“Naturally, we are hugely disappointed,” said Gibson. “The Southern Star was one of Auckland’s largest shipping services.”