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Our economic contribution

Roads are the lifeblood of the economy – pretty much everything you need every day comes to you on a truck.

A competitive and adaptable trucking industry is vital to New Zealand’s productivity and economic growth.

There’s a clear and direct relationship between economic contribution and New Zealand trucking activity. New Zealand research shows that a 1% growth in national output requires around a 1.4% increase in transport services.

Trucks transport 92.8% of New Zealand’s total freight by weight, with 5.6% going by rail and 1.6% on coastal shipping according to the Government’s 2017/18 National Freight Demands Study. Moving freight by road is expected to grow.

The road freight transport industry employs 32,868 people (2.0% of the workforce) and has a gross annual turnover of $6 billion.

Road freight is the only way New Zealand’s primary producers can get their products off the land and into processing, supermarkets, or export markets. As well, almost all manufacturing requires trucks to transport in raw materials and transport out the finished goods. Housing and construction, as well as major infrastructure builds that boost our economy, also rely heavily on trucks.

There are many reasons why road freight is the mode of choice for most people and businesses needing goods moved:

  • Most freight travels less than 100 kilometres 
  • Road transport provides the personalised, door-to-door, on-demand service the modern truck delivers
  • Road transport can manage fragile and time sensitive goods such as livestock, perishable items such as groceries, fruit and vegetables, refrigerated and dangerous goods
  • All communities in New Zealand are connected by road.