Mainfreight's Australian arm rides recovery

Queensland recovery expected to push cargo volumes

By Rob McKay | February 11, 2011

Mainfreight has started seeing the green shoots of an upturn in its Australian operations.

Gross earnings inthe nine months to last December
rose 11.8 per cent to NZ$13.2 million while sales revenue jumped 17.4 per cent to $169.4 million in its third quarter to December, the New Zealand-headquartered company has revealed.

"Freight volumes were satisfactory through the third quarter and have remained consistent into January and February," the international freight and logistics firm says.

"Mainfreight was looking to post-disaster recover to bolster its position in Queensland but there was a small cloud beneath the silver lining relating to warehousing.

"Whilst climatic conditions have had short-term effects on freight movement, particularly in Queensland, it is expected that volumes will increase into this region as repairs and stock replacement gets underway.

"A new branch has been opened on the Gold Coast … with another planned for the Sunshine Coast within the next couple of months.

"Logistics volumes and performance were satisfactory during the quarter, however it is expected that volumes will decline as our customers further rationalise their warehousing commitments."

International business from Australia saw a 0.4 percent decline in gross earnings to NZ$5.9 million, though sales revenue soared 24.3 per cent to NZ186.3 million.

This prompted the company to say that "margin management remains a key area for improvement", though
it noted that international freight rates had fluctuated, especially on imports.

Meanwhile, it had added branches in Newcastle and Townsville to its international network in this country.

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