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Mainfreight Limited
Traded as NZX: MFT
Industry Logistics
Founded 6 March 1978
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Key people
Bruce Plested, Chairman & Founder
Neil Graham ONZM, Founder
Don Braid, Managing Director
Carl Howard-Smith, General Counsel/Director
Emmet Hobbs, Independent Director
Bryan Mogridge, Independent Director
Richard Prebble CBE, Independent Director
Simon Cotter, Independent Director
Products Transport, Logistics, Freight Forwarding,
Revenue NZ$1.92 billion (2014)
Number of employees
5,771 (2014)
Subsidiaries Daily Freight (NZ), Carotrans (Worldwide), Owens (AU/NZ), Wim Bosman (EU)
Slogan Special People, Special Company

Mainfreight Limited began its operations in Auckland, New Zealand in 1978. Founded by Bruce Plested who started the company with just NZD$7000.00 and a 1969 Bedford Truck. He was later joined by Neil Graham. When the company was founded it entered a highly regulated transport market. A license from New Zealand Railways Corporation was needed to carry freight over 150 km. When deregulation of land transport occurred in 1982, Mainfreight quickly took advantage of the opportunities presented and won a large share of the freight market.

Over 35 years later, Mainfreight has grown into one of New Zealand's most extensive freight network. Mainfreight offers a full supply chain solution from managed warehousing to international and domestic freight forwarding worldwide. Listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 1996 Mainfreight continues to work towards their 100 year vision.

Mainfreight Distribution[edit]

The firm's Australian domestic freight and logistics division, Mainfreight Distribution, began operations in 1989, with an operation in Sydney. This operation was expanded with depots in Melbourne and Brisbane. It now has nine company depots in Australia and relies on agents and third parties in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and regional Australia.

Mainfreight International[edit]

Mainfreight International was Mainfreight's first international sea and airfreight business and was started in 1984 by Bruce Plested's brother Gerald. They established agencies in the early days with Australian, Pacific Island and United States freight forwarders and the established agents in most major trading partner countries of New Zealand. With the takeover of Australian freight forwarder ISS Express lines in 1998 they established the Australian international freight business. With the takeover of the Owens Group in 2003 they purchased Owens International Australia. In 2006 the New Zealand Mainfreight International and Owens International businesses were also merged to make Mainfreight Owens International Ltd (now Mainfreight International). In 2007 Mainfreight purchased Halford International (formerly Halford Young) to increase their airfreight abilities and strengthen their global network. Mainfreight has international operations in the USA through its CaroTrans International Inc and most recently Mainfreight International Inc businesses after the 2007 acquisition of Target Logistics, in Asia (nine branches in China, one each in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong).

Owens takeover[edit]

In 2003 Mainfreight bought Owens Group Limited, one of New Zealand's largest trucking firms. This takeover was in response to the purchase of Tranz Rail by Australian transport firm Toll Holdings.

Target Logistics acquisition[edit]

In 2007, Mainfreight acquired Target Logistics, a U.S. based forwarder with 34 U.S. offices, and an extensive agent network. In 2008, the U.S. locations were re-branded as Mainfreight USA.

Community involvement[edit]

Since the very beginning Bruce Plested has instilled within the Mainfreight culture a strong community responsibility with an emphasis on early learning and achievement through education.

Duffy Books in Homes was developed by author Alan Duff and is designed to introduce children in lower decile schools to the magic of reading by giving 7 books a year to each child that they can keep and enjoy. Mainfreight got on board as one of the founding sponsors[1] and Bruce Plested maintains his involvement as Chairman of the Board. It is based on the belief that the children respond so well to the program because of the sense of ownership and empowerment that having books of their very own gives to them. This fosters an on-going love of reading and in turn learning. This programme has given away 7 million books in New Zealand since 1996 and Mainfreight has exported this philosophy to sister branches in Australia and the USA with great success.

The Life Education Trust[2] is another endeavour that Mainfreight are involved with. Every year - with their endearing mascot Harold the Giraffe - The Life Education Trust trailers visit hundreds of schools throughout New Zealand promoting good health and raising awareness of health related issues that face young New Zealanders. Lots of activities and interactions with the tutors and Harold make it a memorable and fun experience for the kids and means that the programme is an extremely successful marriage of entertainment and education.

Mainfreight Auckland has had a longstanding and extremely close association with Bairds Road Primary School[3] for a number of years. So close in fact that the school controversially[citation needed] chose to change its name to Bairds Mainfreight Primary in 1997. Other branches have followed suit and have their own special relationships with schools in their areas.

Mainfreight also run an in-house scholarship programme for children of team members who are entering university for tertiary study.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]