There have been morning tea shouts aplenty at Hooker Pacific in the past month - and for good reason.
Last month the 143-year-old Taranaki transport company won the Westpac supreme business excellence award at the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
Since then the savouries and cakes arrived thick and fast at Hooker's Bell Block base with most gifts from fellow businesses.
"We've had morning tea shouts coming out our ears," fuel haulage chief executive Andy Stanley said.
Freighting chief executive Tony Hamilton said it was the staff that made Hooker Pacific Taranaki's supreme business.
They employed about 250 Hooker Pacific administration staff and truck drivers in Taranaki, he said.
"It's been fantastic for the staff, it's good recognition for their effort," Hamilton said.
Throughout the country Hooker Pacific had 650 trucks and 1200 trailers.
News of Hooker winning the award had spread surprisingly fast, Stanley said. "It's incredible the amount of accolades we've been getting from businesses in Taranaki and a lot of our customers."
About 65 per cent of Hooker Pacific business was energy related with the rest being other sectors.
The only cargo Hooker Pacific didn't transport was logs and livestock.
The high standards and expectations of the energy sector helped Hooker Pacific raise its game over the years, he said.
It now had the contract to all deliver all of New Zealand's Z Energy petrol stations with bulk fuel.
It also delivered bulk fuel North Island-wide for Caltex and LPG throughout New Zealand for Contact Energy.
Hooker Pacific had branches New Zealand-wide but Taranaki was the headquarters of the business which was a 24/7 operation.
Hooker Pacific was active in the community sponsoring Duffy Books in Schools for PukeTapu School, Womad, Life Education Trust and Taranaki Rugby Football Union to name just a few.
Until recently Hooker Pacific had flown below the radar in the transport world, Hamilton said.
"Being a private company and competing against the big boys for some of those major contracts we've picked up has been a breath of fresh air for us."
Hooker Pacific was now seen as a strong competitor in the transport industry.
Hooker Pacific made it a priority to tailor contracts to suit customer needs and overcome problems.
That was crucial when it came down to the "nitty gritty" of contracts, particularly the multi- million-dollar ones, Stanley said.
Hooker Pacific had used the tough economic climate as a time to grab opportunities, Hamilton said.
"It's still a tough market but when the times get tough there's opportunities that come up as well, especially in the transport industry."
Hooker Pacific had up to 25 staff who had been with the company for more than 20 years.
That amount of expertise and experience in a business was invaluable, Stanley said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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