Mainfreight eyes $30m expansion
Global logistics company Mainfreight is investing more than $30 million in a new Hamilton base at Te Rapa in another sign of the Waikato’s growing importance to the freight transport network.
The Auckland-headquartered publicly listed freight company has bought 7 hectares adjacent to Ruffells Rd and the main rail trunk line, and will build a 9000-plus sqm freight terminal that trains will be able to drive into, and a logistics warehousing operation of similar size.
Managing director Don Braid said the new operation will be as big as the freight side of Mainfreight’s South Auckland base.
Mainfreight has operated in the Waikato since the late 80s, graduating to its current Foreman Rd, Te Rapa, site in 2003. The new site will give the company direct train access for the first time in the region under an agreement with KiwiRail. The site will also be served by road.
Braid said the company was surprised to have outgrown the Foreman Rd so fast but Hamilton had become a very important branch.
"Hamilton and the Waikato have become an increasingly stronger part of our network. In its own right it (the area) is attracting industry."
More than 600 tonnes of freight is handled a day by the Foreman Rd site, which has 95 staff, including Mainfreight owner-operators.
"The use of rail will be a key feature fo the new site and will help us rduce the amount of road movements we have each day, which at times can be as many as 300,’’ Braid said.
The land purchase provides Mainfreight with room to expand, he said.
The company is awaiting regulatory consents and processes to start building.
Braid hopes the new operation will start rising in six to 12 months.
The terminal and warehouse will feature the latest technology and in line with Mainfreight’s "green" site policy, will have solar power and rain water collection.