Industry News

Tourism boosts Mainfreight profits

(Stuff: 30 May 2017) Mainfreight​ workers are in for a bonus of thousands of dollars each after the freight company posted another record profit, partly thanks to New Zealand's tourism boom and immigration.

The profit after tax was 17% higher at $103 million, on turnover of $2.3 billion, and also meant staff get $19.7 million in bonus payments, up 18% on last year.

Managing director Don Braid said Mainfreight performed strongly in spite of the earthquakes affecting cargo between the North and South Island, and momentum was being maintained into the new financial year.

Staff bonuses were shared among branches based on their performance and the number of staff at each branch, so it varied widely but would be in the thousands of dollars for most staff, he said.

If there hadn't been the earthquakes we would have done better because we had to set up a new branch and road freight through the Lewis Pass. The extra fees we charged didn't cover our costs," Braid said.

He expected the main rail line between Picton and Christchurch to be restored by the end of the year in time for next Christmas, reducing demands on the inland roads.  

NZ Transport Agency has spent more than $60m upgrading the inland route to accommodate the increase from 50 trucks to 600 trucks a day as well as car traffic. 

"We move a lot of food and beverage and there's no doubt we've seen volumes rising through tourism and immigration," Mr Braid said.

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