Matson will continue to operate two vessels - Imua II and Olomana.
A trading division of China Navigation Company, Swire Shipping will charter the ship Liloa II and use one vessel on the service, which will begin in January 2020.
Swire Shipping general manager Jeremy Sutton said the shipping company had built up a strong reputation for itself as a market leader connecting the Pacific Islands to the world.
“The launch will enable us to offer expanded global coverage into the Pacific Islands, as well as specifically providing New Zealand customers with a new direct service alternative. Our aim is to offer best in class and reliable services from all key trading countries and regions importing and exporting to the Pacific Islands,” Sutton said.
“We will be working closely with customers to not only offer a great shipping service, but also to explore opportunities for landside delivery in the Pacific Islands as well as offering innovative digital solutions.”
Atlas International Freight’s Martin Brown said he had received news of an additional vessel being added to the Cook Islands service.
“You will all be familiar with the vessel name Liloa II, which is being reintroduced back into this trade,” Brown said.
“Once we get through this Christmas, New Year period with public holidays playing havoc with cut-off times, the close-off frequency will be approximately every 10 days.”
Brown said the new operation will make filling containers to Aitutaki an interesting prospect.
“We have all three ships on the schedule for Aitutaki for now and will see how this pans out over a bit of time.”
Excil Shipping manager Maru Apera said they were unable to comment until after the New Year, as staff were busy preparing for the festive season.