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KiwiRail wins business from courier company
A small piece of new business from Express Couriers Ltd sends a signal that KiwiRail is back in the game when it comes to time critical.
The NZ Post/DHL-owned express courier, logistics and distribution company has confirmed it will continue sending two containers a week between Auckland and Christchurch following a successful six week trial - and indicated further business may come onto rail.
Winning that business is a clear indication of growing customer confidence in KiwiRail's ability to deliver goods reliably to a tight schedule, says KiwiRail Freight General Manager Iain Hill.
"We were able to demonstrate during the trial period that we could consistently deliver their freight on the two day schedule we had promised them.
Iain Hill says the business win demonstrates the 'just in time sector' - identified as a key market for growth in KiwiRail's business plan - was starting to take a keen interest in rail's progress.
"Our new equipment and rolling stock gives us the capability and we have been making good progress in improving our on-time performance. If we are to grow this part of our business we must continue to build on those improvements to meet their exacting requirements."
ECL's Transport GM, Alan Court says the decision to continue the trial service was based on all expectations being met.
"Unknown to KiwiRail, we included a self-powered GPS tracking stick in each of the test loads so we could compare our view against the information we were being told or extracting from the 'freight hub' tracking site. We were happy with the comparison, and have discontinued our own tracking as a result."
Mr Court says the two key reasons that Express Couriers has started to use rail as part of its distribution network are cost savings and CO2 reductions."
"We have been watching closely the development of infrastructure within the KiwiRail business that has overcome many of the time delays that have been a barrier in the past. Quick load / unload times at our main hubs combined with minimal transfer times on and off the railhead have created this new opportunity."
"Rail is a much cheaper option than road, which we're keen to capitalise on when time and volume imbalance allows. Concurrently, the fuel and CO2 reductions form a key part of our drive to reduce emissions across the business. Rail is seen as the next step-change that we can pursue that will make a material difference to our carbon footprint.
"The next challenge is to see whether we can extend the concept into a weekday service that will achieve the same gains without compromising our time-critical service standards."