Company History


NZ Express Transport is possibly the oldest New Zealand transport company.


NZ Express, founded in Dunedin in 1867, had by 1920 opened offices in 11 New Zealand cities and provincial centres. At that time the Christchurch office stood on the corner of Manchester and Hereford Streets. By the mid-1930’s, and due largely to the Depression and stock market crash the company was broken up with various regional offices being sold to new independent owners. The new operators would still call themselves NZ Express with their region after that in brackets. The red and cream colour scheme remained on the vehicles.

1974Christchurch Established

Eventually all the NZ Express companies, excluding Auckland, were absorbed by other firms. Auckland had been purchased by Maurice Simson who eventually through acquisition moved into Wellington and in 1974 acquired Brightlings Transport and the NZ Express name was again on the roads of Christchurch.

The original Brightlings depot at Woolston was the site of NZ Express Transport until 2006. The Auckland and Wellington branches were closed following the deregulation of the industry in the 1980’s.

Through its history NZ Express has been involved not only in cartage but also the importation of trucks and buses as well as acting as agents for Orwell electric trucks, international forwarding including air freight handling, customs brokerage and household removals.

Over the following years the core business was to be general metropolitan cartage with strong emphasis and involvement with the Port of Lyttelton. Eventually four strong divisions evolved, Road Transport, Warehousing, International Forwarding and Container Services.

2005Changing Hands

NZ Express Transport (Christchurch) Ltd, still owned by the Simson family, was sold in 2005 to the Lyttelton Port Company. In 2006 the Lyttelton Port Company sold the International Division to a local international freight forwarder and the Transport Division to a consortium of Mid-Canterbury carriers who would retain the NZ Express name. Lyttelton Port Company retained the land, Container Services and Warehousing under the LPC City Depot brand.

2006Purpose Built Facilities

NZ Express Transport (2006) Ltd moved to premises at Lock Crescent, Woolston until a purpose-built facility was constructed and opened for business in February 2014. This new site boasts an overall footprint of 30,000 square metres and includes a warehouse of 1600 pallet spaces and an outdoor covered apron of 400 square metres. The open yard space allows for 100 TEU of container storage and handling space utilising our own Combilift straddle carrier. The Kennaway Road site allows for a large outdoor storage space for the like of Steel and Timber as well as an MPI wash. The entire site is also under camera surveillance and security controlled.

2018New Owners

August 2018 saw NZ Express once again with new owners, when it was purchased out-right by the Philip Wareing family. The name of NZ Express Transport (2006) Ltd was retained.

NZ Express continues to embrace its past whilst looking forward to an ever-changing future.