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Cargo in limbo as delays strike

A late cargo ship has left Samoan businesses facing delays of up to two weeks to receive overseas consignments as freight companies blamed bad new year weather for the setback. 

The MV Southern Lily had been scheduled to arrive at the Apia Wharf before the first weekend of the new year, or January 3rd, a representative for freight company Pacific Direct Line confirmed on Monday.

According to competing forecasts provided by shipping providers, the more than 9500 tonne container vessel will arrive between Thursday the 16th and Saturday the 18th. 

The vessel was positioned just off the coast of New Zealand's north island on Sunday local time, according to international ship tracking data. 

Its scheduled first stop will be at Nukualofa, Tonga where it is set to arrive at the Queen Salote wharf on Wednesday, January 15, before making its way to Samoa. The vessel is estimated to arrive in Tonga shortly after 3am.

Southern Lily's main agent in Samoa, Transam says the vessel is due to arrive on Friday, January 17th.

International logistics provider, Kalgin, was projecting an arrival later on the weekend. 

A Pacific Direct Line spokeswoman said that bad sea conditions had delayed the ship's planned departure.

Tropical Cyclone Sarai struck Fiji in the final days of 2019 before moving into Tongan waters on New Year's Eve. 

The vessel was built in 2008 and currently sailing under the flag of Hong Kong.

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