KiwiRail wins award for freight excellence

KiwiRail’s efforts to keep freight moving around New Zealand following the Kaikoura earthquake saw it take home an Australasian Rail Industry Award in Sydney last night.

KiwiRail won the Freight Rail Excellence category in recognition of its response to the November 2016 earthquake, which severely damaged New Zealand’s road and rail networks in the upper South Island.

“In the earthquake’s immediate aftermath up to 50% of rail freight moved to road and coastal shipping,” says KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy.

“The earthquake was an unprecedented event and its impact on the national supply chain has been significant. It challenged us to find ways to continue to support our customers and to provide strategic resilience options in the event of aftershocks.

“KiwiRail took a leadership role in finding solutions to problems the earthquake caused.

“We quickly invested in a freight hub in the upper South Island to support domestic freight forwarders and secured coastal capacity with major shipping lines.

“We also worked with customers as well as local and central government to protect tourism flows around the country.

“These strategies are all designed to retain and protect long-term customer freight volumes until we are able to re-open the rail network.

“We’re looking forward to once again being able to offer our customers the option of moving their freight on the line.”

“The rebuild of the Main North Line has been the biggest rail project in the South Island since WWII, and we’d like to thank our customers for their support and patience over the last eight months.

“This award recognises the dedication and hard work of our team, led by Group General Manager Sales and Commercial Alan Piper.”

More than 80 nominations were received across 12 categories in this year’s Australasian Rail Industry Awards, which recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations across Australia and New Zealand.