The MV Southern Lily, a Singapore-flagged cargo vessel operating between New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa, will be replaced by a larger vessel.

The new 13,000t ship, which will be deployed on 27 January, is 60% bigger than the Lily, according to nbr.nz.

The 17kt vessel is expected to enable the Pacific Direct Line , Reef Shipping and Sofrana Unilines shipping companies to expand their cargo handling capacity on the route.

The new ship will start service from Auckland, New Zealand, for stops at Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.