Disruption Following Earthquake: Wednesday 16th November
Firstly, our Online Distribution teams would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding through what has been a challenging time for many over the past few days. This is greatly appreciated by all of the teams.
Disruptions and challenges with the road and rail networks make up the basis of our reviewed information:
- Overnight there have been developments in the Wellington CBD, with several high-rise office buildings now cordoned off. Restricted access to these areas is preventing deliveries to many parts of the Wellington CBD.
- SH58 (Haywards Hill) between Paremata and Hutt Valley is now open. Paekakariki Hill Road is closed. Shelly Bay Road is closed.
- The Rimutaka Hill highway to Masterton and the Wairarapa is open and dayrun services will operate there as normal.
- Traditional capacity North to South has been restricted to 30% of (Normal) available capacity at this time due to Cook Strait (Inter-Islander) constraints and equipment availability. The Mainfreight group is primarily focused on expanding channels North to South, including capturing space on coastal alternatives, and commissioning new and expanded specialist handling hubs on both sides of Cook Strait.
- SH1 in the South Island remains closed between Seddon and Cheviot.
- Road service linehaul delays into and out of the South Island will continue until further notice as we work with diversions that necessitate alternate routes to SH1 between Christchurch and Picton.
- While we are now able to use SH7 (the Lewis Pass road) for north-south freight, there is talk of the Inland Route (SH70 from just south of Kaikoura to just north of Culverden on SH7) being re-opened soon.
- Long-term, SH70 may be upgraded to be more suitable for heavy traffic, but this would require an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and a considerable amount of planning and build-out time. Meantime, a short section of SH70 between Culverden and Waiau has been re-opened.
- NZTA reports that controlled access for local residents is now permitted from Seddon to Ward, and from Cheviot to Goose Bay.
Important Note from our Freight carriers:
As we are moving from the “Reactionary” phase into a Remedial phase, limitations have been realised and solutions continue to emerge as a means to navigate the challenges . Traditional capacity North to South has been restricted to 30% of (Normal) available capacity at this time due to Cook Strait (Inter-Islander) constraints and equipment availability. The Owens (and the entire Mainfreight group) are primarily focused on expanding channels North to South, including capturing space on coastal alternatives, and commissioning new and expanded specialist handling hubs on both sides of the Cook Strait.
Road is now the dominant service mode, with increased bridging services deployed between the Marlborough Region and the rest of the South Island, serviced via our Christchurch hubs, but equally we are experiencing increased demand within the North Island into the Wellington region. Unexpected cost-to-enact services are currently being funded by Owens/Mainfreight.
The earthquakes have triggered a “Force Majeure Event” meaning, due to circumstances arising from a natural event beyond our control, the Mainfreight Group can no longer remain compliant with cost and service obligations that existed contractually in writing or by verbal agreement.
Due to these unforeseen forced operational changes and extended transit times required to service freight Inter-Island and Intra-Island between the Marlborough region and the mid to lower South Island, we regretfully must look to our customers to make a contribution to allow us to sustain these services.
As a result, a separate disruption surcharge of 15% will be introduced and will apply to all Inter-Island freight movements, and to all movements between the Marlborough region and mid to lower South Island destinations (eg, freight from North Island to Christchurch will incur a 15% surcharge; freight from Timaru to Blenheim will incur a 15% surcharge, etc). In addition the following will apply:
- Should the Lewis Pass close or imposed restrictions arise for an extended period, Mainfreight may review our position.
- Should a consistent ferry option between Wellington and Lyttelton materialise, Mainfreight will look to reduce the fee where appropriate
- On the resumption of normal rail and road services between Picton and Christchurch via State Highway One, this fee will be removed
The surcharge will take effect from Monday 21st November. We have respectfully provided as much notice as possible to allow customers a chance to readjust freight requirements accordingly. We ask for your consideration, not to inundate our operations with freight volumes ahead of this date to avoid this surcharge.
Our operational teams will use their best endeavours to determine which channel or mode is available to service freight between Islands; nomination of services is restricted.
The surcharge will appear on your tax/invoice statement as a separate fee. The Fuel Adjustment Factor will remain separate and forms no contribution to the surcharge.
Regretfully this will mean that Online Distribution will be required to pass on this additional 15% levy on the above routes from Monday 21st November 2016 and until further notice. As we work through how this will be applied we will provide more information.
The surcharge is not unique to the Mainfreight Group as all carriers look to pass on these additional costs.
For more information please call or email us to discuss.