Significant increases in freight volumes
New Zealand has seen a shift in consumer behaviour as a result of the emergence of COVID-19 and the related restrictions put in place.
It has seen more people than ever use online shopping as a means to get goods delivered to them.
As a result, fast freight has seen significant growth, especially since August 2021 where there has been over two million consignments arriving in New Zealand between August 2021 and the end of November 2021. This is compared to approximately 1.3 million consignments for the same period in 2020, an increase of almost 63%.
There has also been an overall increase of fast freight of around 79% when compared to the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic.
Customs has been undertaking increased screening, targeting and inspection activity as well as boosting staff in its National Contact Centre to help with queries from industry and consumers. We are also continuing to monitor trade activity to see if 2022 will see a continued growth.
While Customs has boosted its staff numbers for the busy season, and is doing its best to maintain the required service standards, there is a chance that there may be some delays with clearances due to the significant volumes.
We do ask for patience during this incredibly busy period. If you or your clients have goods that are genuinely urgent, we will continue to consider individual requests.