Maersk New Zealand says there are challenges for ports in New Zealand to improve their performance and better meet the needs of exporters.
The company which is one of the world's largest shippers of containers, is a major player in the export of primary products from New Zealand.
Managing director Julian Bevis says port productivity world-wide is measured on what's called gross moves per hour.
He says on average Japanese ports have the highest number with more than 40 moves.
That's twice the productivity rate of New Zealand ports.
Mr Bevis says even a small increase in port productivity could boost New Zealand's competitiveness and save shipping companies millions of dollars in fuel costs.