Oldendorff bulker set to be largest ship to load logs in New Zealand

Written by Nick Blenkey
Oldendordd bulk carrier

Loading logs on giant bulkers has a number of environmental upsides.

A deal has been finalized that will soon see an Oldendorff Carriers post-Panamax bulker become the largest vessel to ever call at New Zealand for the loading of logs.

The fixture is the result of a deal between South Pacific Shipping (SPS) and Oldendorff Carriers was brokered by Braemar ACM’s Bruce McFarlane, a Mount Maunganui, New Zealand local. Braemar also negotiated a deal with ISO Stevedoring that deliver the mobile cranes that will load the logs from the manufacturer in Germany, to the port of Tauranga, New Zealand.

“We saw an opportunity to bring together two major players from the logs trade and dry bulk shipping to create new economies of scale through the utilization of the new mobile shore cranes and larger vessels at Tauranga,” said McFarlane.

“We’re excited to be a part of this post-Panamax fixture with Oldendorff Carriers,” said Cameron Mackenzie of South Pacific Shipping. “Not only will this be the biggest vessel to load logs from New Zealand, loading a gearless ship is also a first for the New Zealand log export industry. Our objective is to make the supply chain as efficient as possible while maximizing port throughput, as well as minimizing the environmental footprint from the transportation of logs. Plus as market leaders, we wanted to be the first to participate in something that has not been achieved before.”

Oldendorff Carriers has been part of the New Zealand logs trade for decades. The opportunity to contribute the first post-Panamax to load logs from New Zealand suited Oldendorff’s flexibility and diversity. With over 700 vessels in their operating fleet that range from 11,000 dwt through to 210,000 dwt, Oldendorff has been able to draw from its extensive fleet to quickly adjust to SPS’s developing shipping requirements.

Oldendorff Carriers has now concluded two deals that will bring post-Panamax vessels to load logs from Tauranga. Both fixtures will see Oldendorff provide ships that will be over 30,000 dwt greater than the current largest vessel to have loaded logs from New Zealand.


Moving to the larger post-Panamax vessel will allow the logs to be transported with a lower carbon output per cubic meter compared to shipping on a regular handysize logger.”

“A Post-Panamax will carry underdeck twice the volume of a conventional logger, but will not require any fumigation by methyl bromide as no logs will be carried on deck,” said Cameron Mackenzie of SPS. “This deal is also good for the environment.”

The logs are sourced from Pacific Forest Products (PFP) and supplied entirely from sustainable plantation forests. The bigger vessels will allow ISO Stevedoring to utilize its new high capacity shore cranes, improving both loading speeds and stevedore safety. With no deck cargo fumigation or lashing required, loading will be faster and more efficient, increasing berth utilization.

If the Post Panamax loading goes to plan, and freight rates remain proportionate to current levels, SPS will look to charter further Panamax vessels to capture ongoing gains obtained from supply chain efficiency and safety.

The first vessel to load is scheduled to be the 92, 759 dwt Clemens Oldendorff which is due to load from Tauranga at the end of October, or early November 2021.

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