Wellington's quake-damaged seaport has signed a deal with the world's largest shipping line to improve its cargo service out of the capital.
CentrePort ceased container traffic because of severe damage from the Kaikōura earthquake last November.
The big gantry cranes on the wharf were rendered inoperable by quake damage, but later restored modest container trading using ships that had cranes on board.
Centreport said the higher-capacity wharf-based cranes would be back in action from 18 September, when the first 3000-capacity Maersk ship into the city was set to arrive.
Port officials said not all work needed to completely repair the port was complete however, and the port was previously able to handle 4500-container ships.
The Maersk ships are one-third the size of the biggest container ships going to Tauranga, which take advantage of dredging work finished there last year, and one-seventh of the size of the world's biggest container ships.
It is understood CentrePort is also negotiating with other shipping companies.