Freightways Chosen To Help Exporters Deliver Goods To Australia
Freightways Limited has been awarded a contract to provide much needed international freight assistance to New Zealand exporters looking to get their goods into the vitally important Australian market.
The Minister of Transport, Hon Phil Twyford, announced details of the International Air Freight Capacity scheme on 2 May, which named Freightways as one of the first successful applicants to deliver air freight.
Freightways will initially operate up to five return flights a week (10 flights in total) to Sydney and Melbourne, with potential to expand the schedule to Brisbane as required.
“The Government’s scheme will give New Zealand exporters access to our closest export market at rates that align much more closely with what they were paying prior to the COVID-19 crisis,” says Mark Troughear, Chief Executive Officer, Freightways.
“The timing of this scheme is very important. The pandemic has directly affected exporters’ ability to get goods to market in two ways. Firstly, we have seen a significant reduction in trans-Tasman passenger traffic. Secondly, the price to carry goods has increased as
capacity has diminished because cargo has traditionally been carried in the belly of these planes.
“Freightways, via its Parcelair joint venture business, is the only New Zealand operator with a fleet of freight aircraft. We have worked with our JV partner Airwork, which has brought in additional capacity from its large fleet to meet these requirements.
“The Ministry of Transport’s contract with Freightways has helped us to extend this capability to international air freight at a time when our exporters need to get goods to market reliably and cost effectively. It means we can use the same aircraft during the day that we normally use at night for New Zealand’s only nationwide overnight airfreight network.”
Mark Troughear says that he sees the new service as a natural extension of the services Freightways already offers many hard-working New Zealand companies. The ability to utilise Freightways’ network means that goods can be picked up from any town or city in New Zealand and sent to Australia the next day.
“Our 737-400 aircraft offer significantly increased freight capacity per flight compared with other options,” says Troughear. “This means that New Zealand businesses will be able to send and receive significantly increased volumes of essential medical supplies, emergency relief items, perishables and dry goods to and from Australia’s East Coast at rates that better reflect what they have historically paid.
“We’ve consulted with a number of key New Zealand exporters about how to best meet their needs. Together with our partners, we will be offering a service where companies can book space online or via an international freight call centre which Freightways will operate. We will then provide not only the aircraft and crew but also operational co-ordination including ground handling, billing, and administration.
“Customers will receive all the benefits of specialist charter services with much more reliable availability and without the hefty price tag for services not supported by Freightways.”
As a freight capacity provider, Freightways expects to move approximately 360,000kg of goods per week for companies of all sizes, from key primary producer exporters to much smaller import/export firms that need competitive and readily available access to the Australian market.
“We welcome the opportunity to step in and help New Zealand businesses at this time,” says Troughear. “This scheme is good for our customers, for business confidence, and for the country as we all work together to find our way through challenging circumstances.”
The new service will start on 12 May 2020 and is scheduled to operate each day, from Tuesday to Saturday. The initial contract is for two months, with the potential to continue and even expand destinations depending on requirements.