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Mainfreight Limited
Mainfreight Transport Limited
Traded asNZX: MFT
Founded6 March 1978; 41 years ago (6 March 1978) in Auckland, New Zealand[1]
FounderBruce Plested[2]
Neil Graham ONZM
Headquarters2 Railway Lane, Otahuhu,
New Zealand[1]
Number of locations
239[3] (2017)
Area served
Key people
Bruce Plested (Founder & Chairman) Don Braid (CEO)
ServicesTransport, Logistics, Freight Forwarding, Supply Chain Management
RevenueNZ$2.62 billion [3] (2018)
Number of employees
7,532[3] (2017)
SubsidiariesDaily Freight (NZ), Carotrans (Worldwide), Owens (AU/NZ), ChemCouriers (AU/NZ) Mainfreight Europe (EU)

Mainfreight Limited is a listed-New Zealand logistics and transport company headquartered in Auckland. Mainfreight commenced operations in Auckland in 1978[2] and is one of the largest freight companies in New Zealand. Mainfreight listed on the NZX in 1996[4]


Mainfreight was founded on 6 March 1978 by Bruce Plested who started the company with just $7,200.00 and a 1969 Bedford Truck.[2] In 1979, Bruce Plested partnered with Neil Graham, with Mr Graham taking over the running of the business.[5][6]

When the company was founded it entered a highly regulated transport market. A licence from New Zealand Railways Corporation was needed to carry freight over 150 km.[7] When deregulation of land transport occurred in October 1982, Mainfreight quickly took advantage of the opportunities presented and won a large share of the freight market. Whilst describing the foundation of Mainfreight in 2000, Mr Plested said to the New Zealand Herald, "We moved all our freight by sea between Auckland, and Christchurch and Dunedin, and we worked weekend shifts to make sure we loaded and unloaded the ship using the whole of the seven days - we found that was faster and more reliable than our big competitors."[6]


Mainfreight Australia[edit]

The firm's Australian domestic freight and logistics division, Mainfreight Distribution, began operations in 1989, with an operation in Sydney.[6] 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.

Mainfreight USA[edit]

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). 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.


Halford International[edit]

On 11 June 2007, Mainfreight 'signed a call option deed' to purchase the entirety of the shares of Australian-based Halford International Pty Ltd. Formerly Halford Young, Halford is a private logistics company and freight forwarder with operations and networks in Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Germany, throughout Asia and the United States of America.[8]

Mainfreight will acquire Halford for approximately AUD$21 million. The acquisition will extend Mainfreight's existing Australian operations by 6 branches.[8]

Don Braid, Mainfreight's Group Managing Director said, "We are impressed by Halford's strong culture and capabilities, and we look forward to welcoming the Halford International team to the Mainfreight family."[8]

Owens Group[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. 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).

Wim Bosman Group[edit]

In March 2011, Mainfreight entered the European market with the acquisition of Netherlands-based company Wim Bosman Group for 120 million; or $227 million.[9]

Headquartered in 's-Heerenberg, The Netherlands, Wim Bosman is privately held and operates more than 1,000 transport units, manage more than 275,000m2 of cross-docking facilities and warehouse area, and employ roughly 1,414 staff within 14 branches located in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Romania, Poland, and Russia.[10]

Within its announcement, the Mainfreight sad, "Wim Bosman is a well respected, profitable organisation which will provide Mainfreight with a significant European presence and opportunity to further grow its supply chain logistic services throughout the world."[9]

In June 2013, Mainfreight launched a lawsuit seeking €11 million or $18 million against Wim Bosman Group's former owners. The lawsuit claimed that Wim Bosman, the former owner, had prior knowledge of a large client, Giant Bicycles, intentions to end corporate ties with the group.[11] In August 2013, Mainfreight and the family of Wim Bosman reached an out of court agreement for compensation to the tune of €8.2 million or $14 million.[12]

Since 2011, Mainfreight, under the Wim Bosman name, have opened new branches in Bergen op Zoom in The Netherlands, Cluj-Napoca in Romania, Frankfurt and Gelsenkirchen in Germany, London in United Kingdom, and Poznań/Luboń in Poland. Mainfreight also renamed Wim Bosman branches in the countries France, Poland, Russia and Ukraine under the Mainfreight name.[13]


Lep New Zealand[edit]

Between 1994 and 1997 Mainfreight started acquiring former competitors, such as, Daily Freightways and Chem Couriers in 1994, a 75% shareholding in Lep New Zealand in 1996, and Combined Haulage and Senco Haulage in 1997.[6] In 1998, Mainfreight acquired Australian freight forwarder ISS Express lines, subsequently establishing an Australian international freight business.

In April 2007, Mainfreight announced its intentions to sell its Pan Orient Project Logistics business and its 75% interest in Lep Australia and New Zealand to global logistics company Agility Group for A$83 million.[14] The transaction was completed on 6 June 2007.[15]

Target Logistics[edit]

In September 2007, it was reported by Business Wire that Mainfreight had signed a merger agreement with American Stock Exchange-listed Target Logistics, Inc. for $2.50 a share; for a total of US$54 million. Target operate domestic and international time-sensitive freight-forwarding and logistics services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Target Logistic Services, Inc. Target has offices in 35 cities throughout the United States and an international network of agents in over 70 countries.[4]

CaroTrans South America[edit]

In May 2011, Mainfreight established a CaroTrans branch in Santiago, Chile. This endeavor launched the first permanent investment into South America.[16]

Greg Howard, Global CEO of CaroTrans said, "The opening of the CaroTrans Chile office continues our investment in CaroTrans' global infrastructure, and local support and care of customers in South America. This is a very important market for the global shipping industry and our expansion makes certain that we will have the resources in place to provide the highest level of customer service and support for our global network"[17]

DCB International[edit]

In November 2014, it was reported by the Otago Daily Times that Mainfreight had acquired a regional air and sea freight company located in Dunedin, New Zealand, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 1969 as Dunedin Customs Brokers Ltd, DCB International provides international air and sea freight services from Dunedin. DCB had a staff base of 5 employees on the date of acquisition, however, staff was expected to rise to 7 employees. Regarding the acquisition, DCB Director Mark Willis said, "The purchase is a case of recognition of the importance of regional strength, and combining that with Mainfreight's global strength."[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shareholding Information - Mainfreight Limited". New Zealand Companies Office. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kiong, Errol (27 November 2008). "Mainfreight boss wins award". New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "MAINFREIGHT LIMITED ORDINARY SHARES (MFT) ANALYSIS". New Zealand Exchange Limited. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Henning, Paul (17 September 2007). "Target Logistics, Inc. Agrees to be Acquired by Mainfreight Limited". Business Wire, Inc. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  5. ^ Gibson, Nevil (1 October 2015). "Mainfreight co-founder Neil Graham dies". The National Business Review. NBR. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d De Boni, Dita (30 June 2000). "Mainfreight always moving forward". New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Road transport regulation a controversial measure to protect railways". Kiwi Rail Limited. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "Mainfreight announces agreement to acquire Halford International". Mainfreight. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Mainfreight breaks into Europe with $227m acquisition". The New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  10. ^ Adams, Christopher (8 March 2011). "Mainfreight sets course for Europe". The New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  11. ^ Adams, Christopher (26 June 2013). "Mainfreight sues for $18m after shock client loss". The New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Mainfreight gets $14m payout - drops Euro claim". The New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  13. ^ "The Wim Bosman Group becomes Mainfreight". Meinfreight News. Meinfreight Limied. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Mainfreight sells Pan Orient Project Logistics and its 75% shareholding in LEP (New Zealand and Australia) for over A$83 million". Mainfreight NZ. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Mainfreight Limited (Mainfreight) completes sale of Pan Orient Project Logistics". Mainfreight NZ. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  16. ^ Adams, Chrisitopher (27 May 2011). "Mainfreight dips toes into Chile". The New Zealand Herald. NZME Publishing. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  17. ^ "CaroTrans Opens New Office in Chile to Support Growth in South America". Yahoo News. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  18. ^ Hartley, Simon (12 November 2014). "Mainfreight buys Dunedin firm". Otago Daily Times. Allied Press. Retrieved 30 January 2017.

External links[edit]