ContainerCo to purchase four EV trucks

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 25, 2021

Shipping company ContainerCo has announced it will proceed with investment into engineering and technology projects as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt normal shipping patterns.

As well as additional yards, rebuilds and a search to acquire additional land in Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Hamilton, the company will support the development of a One-Stop Modal depot management and will commission four new EV trucks in the next five months.

A year-long trial of these systems at a ContainerCo depot in Auckland demonstrated that the software is a significant step forward, eliminating manual processes and enabling increased depot automation.

“We have trialled an EV truck for over a year and the new units will offer better range and driver comfort,” said ContainerCo managing director Ken Harris.

A further four are to be delivered in 2022, and it is expected the programme will continue.

While shuttle operations are the primary design use, in the future units are expected to be able to cover freight legs between Hamilton, Auckland, and Tauranga.

Harris said much of New Zealand’s export cargo requires refrigeration or dry containers of a particularly high standard and around 30% of all container moves into and out of the country are to reposition empty containers.

“The last 18 months have however been challenging with lock downs and other public health measures disrupting port activity,” he said.

“Disruptions of ports has slowed ship movement, and the loss of container shipping capacity has been estimated by experts to be 10 to 14% while predictions of a global freight downturn proved incorrect.”

With reduced shipping capacity and demand for cargo slots high, the supply and relocation of empty containers has become a problem and container depots have quickly filled up with unneeded dry containers.

“It is costly and frustrating for importers, freight forwarders and transport companies when they are unable to return containers to designated container parks,” Harris said.

“It can be an even worse problem for exporters if the supply of containers suitable for exports is disrupted.”