Shipping line PDL

At Pacific Direct Line, we like to think of the South Pacific as our home. We are proud that the team at Pacific Direct Line has created a shipping company with a reputation for reliability and long term commitment to serving our customers in the region.

Back in 1968 members of Pacific Direct Line were the founding shareholders and directors in Sofrana, thus signalling their entry into the challenging arena of maritime transport in the South Pacific, with its first office in Auckland opened in 1969.

Since then, Pacific Direct Line has been at the cutting edge of maritime transport technology. Initially we operated with relatively small tonnage conventional cargo ships. Over the years cargo handling methods have evolved to the point where we are able to utilise larger vessels equipped with efficient cargo handling gear to load both containers and break-bulk cargo.

In early 1990 Pacific Direct Line recognised the value of strategic space sharing agreements with other ship operators, allowing us to expand our trading environment to link with an international network outside the South Pacific region. We recognised in the mid 1990s that our core business activities were in the South Pacific Region, and so it was decided to refocus our activities in this area, while still developing links with International Carriers.

Today, through carefully chosen strategic alliances, Pacific Direct Line has expanded and enhanced its regional business as well as the quality of service offered to customers throughout the area that we call home.

Pacific Direct Line has always been concerned with the socio-economic development of the Pacific Islands. Pacific Direct Line has played an important role in the establishment of a number of innovative airline and hotel projects. A noteworthy success story was the part played by it in forming AIRCALIN in 1983. This company was successfully managed by what is now our Noumea office for a number of years.

Today maritime transport and its associated industries remains the key focus of Pacific Direct Line. Recently we have developed a network of professional efficient shipping agencies and stevedoring operations throughout the Pacific Islands operating under the Transam name. This allows the PDL philosophy of continuous improvement to flow through our entire operation from your premises to your customer's door.

We want to be the best at what we do. Our investments in people, equipment, ships and technology should ensure success for PDL and our customers in the future.


Our experience in handling the transport needs of our customers in the Pacific region is unsurpassed. The almost total reliance on shipping to stock the pantries and homes of Pacific Island families means there are few cargo types we are not well versed in carrying. From eggs, milk, meat and bread to cars, computers and building products to build homes, PDL has been here every day working alongside the businesses of the Pacific to develop strong, vibrant communities. Rest assured we will be there tomorrow.

The Pacific Direct Line group of companies exists for one primary reason: to improve the communication links of the people of the Pacific with the rest of the world. Having grown up in New Caledonia, our founders have devoted their working lives to expanding transport, trade and tourism opportunities here. Today, we are actively involved in cargo shipping, airline management, port services, ships' agency, commodity trading, hotel development and casino operations.

This personal attachment to the Pacific people is what we feel sets us apart from our competition. A particularly close-knit group staff our regional offices in Auckland and Gold Coast. In fact many of our team are descendents of or family to our founders, Bill Ravel, Jean Ravel and Jean-Pierre Varnier.

A major benefit of dealing with family run businesses is the ability to get answers quickly. The lack of red-tape often found in corporations allows us to quickly make decisions and change course as new opportunities present. This also gives us extraordinary flexibility to adapt to the immediate and long-term needs of our customers.