Fastway Couriers and both its business and residential customers across the country are still feeling the impact a year on from the Kaikoura Earthquake.
Fastway Couriers chief executive Scott Jenyns said November and December are the busiest months of the year for parcel delivery with about one million parcels each month picked up and delivered across New Zealand by over 270 Fastway Courier franchisees.
“We are expecting to be up by about five to ten percent on last year. Traditionally November and December are our biggest months with business to business freight movements at their peak as well as the digital marketplace selling more than ever. The local, national and international online shopping boom continues to grow.”
“November and December 2016 were a real challenge for us as the Kaikoura Earthquake dramatically changed the way Fastway moved parcels between the two islands.
“It’s been a tough 12 months as we’ve moved parcels between the North and South Island but the team have done a fantastic job of minimising delays. Each journey is now three hours longer and more challenging than prior to the earthquake. Occasionally the alternative route results is an additional day for delivery but our customers have been very patient.
“Although the main SH1 road from Picton to Christchurch remains closed to trucks, we are in a better position than this time last year.
“NZTA and its road contractors have also done a great job of getting the road to a point of potentially opening by mid-December for light vehicles but there’s not a date set for a full re-opening, which is what we need.
Mr Jenyns said using Lewis Pass had also come with its challenges. The road has been closed several times due to weather conditions and accidents and its proven hard to make connections with inter-island ferries.
“We have had to put on additional resources both at depots and on the road as the journey is a lot longer.
Fastway’s linehaul manager Allen Winton recently attended a road transport forum which confirmed the full extent of the damage to rail and road infrastructure and the effort towards rebuilding.
“We now have a much greater understanding of the scale of the damage and the enormity of the project at hand. 21 fault lines ruptured and a lot of work wasn’t able to be done until the earth above sea level was safely secured,” Mr Winton said.
He added that fortunately for Fastway Couriers and its customers they haven’t been too affected by the closure of the Manawatu Gorge, as the company operates a hub and spoke network that has a central hub in Taupo instead of Palmerston North.
Fastway also announced its Christmas Delivery deadlines for parcel movements The last day for sending a parcel within the North & South Islands is Thursday December 21 and for delivery between islands prior to Christmas Day parcels should be picked up prior to Tuesday December 19.