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Transport Announcement | Coronavirus COVID–19 Update

Posted on 26 March 2020

26th March 2020

The Government has provided further clarity pertaining to the movement of freight whilst we are at CoVID-19 alert level four.

It is our understanding home-based consumers fundamentally will only be able to shop online for essential goods such as food, beverages, toiletries, and health and sanitation products, referred to as “necessities of life” during the lock down period.

Government will further deter any companies or parties who attempt to enact or offer home services outside the “necessity of life” principles.

As a result, and with immediate effect, Mainfreight will only service residential homes with shipments of “necessity of life” products classified by Government agencies.

We will continue to respect safe havens of isolation (bubbles), mitigating risk in the preservation of life, as outlined in recent Government communications. Equally we are unable to uplift any goods from a business operating from a residential address.

If further definition of “necessities of life” products are required we recommend our customers reach out to appropriate Government agencies or websites for validation.

Due to CoVID-19 alert level four and our reduced freight volumes, Mainfreight’s services to certain destinations, primarily regional New Zealand and inter-island, will see a measurable extension in transit times as our team navigate closures and fallen demand whilst maintaining safety protocols.

Our objective within a fluid environment is to maintain services where able with best endeavors. We ask that we are not presented with any freight unless there is a high certainty that we can deliver. Where able we kindly ask that we are provided with a receiver name and phone number on each consignment to assist with delivery.

As an essential service we cannot expose our team to unnecessary risk that may compromise supply lines critical to supporting continuity of other essential services in the best interests of all New Zealanders.

Contactless safety protocols

  • Always maintain 3-metre social distancing
  • No signature required on delivery in the event a receiver is unable to sign a delivery receipt outside the 3-metre zone, and with their own pen
  • In the event of “no signature”, our drivers will request the receiver’s full name

We thank our customers who continue to help promote the safety of our team and each other in these challenging times.

Equally we extend our gratitude and admiration to many New Zealanders providing essential front-line duties.

If you have any questions or require further information please contact your account manager or local branch.


23rd March 2020 

As the impacts of COVID-19 unfold we will continue to provide concise information to assist your ability to make informed decisions.

The New Zealand Government today announced an Alert Level 3 status, moving to Level 4 in 48 hours (Wednesday 25th March), closing schools and non-essential business.

Mainfreight understands its role as an identified essential service to maintain supply lines, a message repeated by governments around the world as they look to keep borders and domestic channels open for freight.

It is expected that a degree of disruption will emerge in the next 48 hours, as business volumes alters and service requirements change. KiwiRail’s recent announcement outlining a reduction in passenger sailings across the Cook Straight and a stand-down of selected rail services, is an early indication that supply chains are going to require adjustment as demand and expectation alters.

Currently our focus is to maintain services to all destinations as volume and restrictions allow. Strategically it is imperative that our customers make provision for extra day transits ahead of time as the full impact of the situation emerges in coming days.

Further communication will be provided as information comes to hand.

If you have any questions regarding this collection and delivery protocol, please contact your account manager or local branch.


18th March 2020

As a responsible industry leader, we are committed to using our best efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 – for the welfare of our customers, team and communities.

Our teams are aware of their critical role in maintaining supply lines to business and homes, here and around the world.  The physical nature of freight movement means that we cannot isolate ourselves.  Daily engagement with our customers is a requirement, for the collection and delivery of freight.

We are seeing the introduction of waivers or signed declarations swamping our industry at this time, but these do not add any level of protection, compared with using common sense.  Going forward, our drivers will adopt a simple pragmatic solution, widely recommended by health experts, to manage safe separation and hygiene disciplines. 

Please don’t feel offended if our driver no longer shakes hands, or is seen to be maintaining a 3-meter separation protocol for contactless collections or deliveries.  A smile and a wave will quickly be reciprocated.

The following measures are designed to reduce our drivers’ and customers’ exposure, in both business and home environments:

Home deliveries

  • During our pre-delivery telephone call, we will now be asking receivers questions around their health status and if any household members are in self-isolation. Deliveries to affected properties will be managed on a case-by-case basis.
  • With all home deliveries, when arriving at a residence, we will knock and then step back, ensuring a 3 metre distance is in place at all times (or as far as possible in safety).
  • We will deliver to an agreed location outside of the residence or we will deliver inside the door only. We will not proceed any further than to have the goods safely inside and allowing the door to operate.
  • Our drivers will print the receiver’s name on the consignment note in front of the receiver, as signatures are no longer mandatory.
  • No in-house installations will be undertaken until further notice.
  • No returns from private premises will be accepted until further notice.

Business Deliveries/Collections

  • The 3-metre rule outlined above applies.
  • Drivers will sanitise hands after each activity and regularly during daily delivery /collection routines.
  • If receivers are uncomfortable signing delivery documents for any reason, outside the 3-metre separation area with their own pen, the driver will request a full name which they will endorse on each consignment receipt prefixed with COVID.

We continue to monitor the health of our drivers and all our team members, encouraging anyone displaying any signs of illness to stay at home. As usual, we will be offering all our team free flu vaccinations as winter approaches.

We will continue to do our utmost to meet our obligations and keep supply channels working. We ask for your continued support by communicating this simple message where necessary.

The situation is being monitored daily and these measures are subject to change as required.

If you have any questions regarding this collection and delivery protocol, please contact your account manager or local branch.

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