Australia proves a boon for Mainfreight

Multimodal Kiwi T&L firm sees 9 per cent jump across the ditch despite virus

Australia proves a boon for Mainfreight
Don Braid


Mainfreight is keeping its operational nose in front of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, due largely to China and  its Australian operations.

In a trading update on its first calendar quarter, the New Zealand international transport and logistics company, which has a strong Australian presence, reports it is ahead of this time last year.

"While we have seen a decline in air and sea freight to and from our Asian operations, trading across other international trade-lanes, and domestically within New Zealand, Australia and Europe continues at reasonable levels," group MD Don Braid says.

"More recently, China volumes are re-emerging as factories and ports return to normal operations."

He adds: "Although we are heading into a period of uncertainty, the world’s freight trade-lanes remain open.

"Our experience in China has given us some knowledge of how to operate in this new environment.

"All 275 of Mainfreight’s branches world-wide are open, and our team is moving freight and supporting the flow of supplies on behalf of our customers."

Read about Mainfreight’s financial success last year, here

Unlike New Zealand, Australia is not in a heavy lockdown, so freight volumes remain "reasonable" across all divisions here, with "a number of new customer gains assisting".

"Performance from Australia through late March and into April has surprised, and while Easter trading may see a decline, if Australia’s state of partial lockdown remains in place, we expect similar trading levels to continue after Easter," the company reports.

"The first week of April trading saw sales revenues up 9%."

Inter-state distribution continues for its Transport division’s operations, with volumes are ahead of the same quarter last year due to a high level of exposure to supermarket and hardware retail sectors.

For its Warehousing operations, products related to the retail and restaurant sectors are slowing, however food and food-related products continue to trade at regular levels of activity.

For the Air & Ocean division here, import sea freight volumes have risen on resurgent Chinese exports.

"How long this demand will continue is uncertain," the company says.

"Air freight volume is consistent, however charter activity disappoints."


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