Movement of 116 machines from various New Zealand sites to Ritchie Bros. Auction sites in Australia


To identify and implement cost-effective, time-sensitive, door-to-door delivery of 116 assorted Caterpillar machines from New Zealand to Australia.


FCA Lyttelton and Auckland, New Zealand


DDU Pre-cleared, delivered to door, Ritchie Bros auction sites at Yatala, Queensland, Australia, and Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

Job Specifics

Our client wanted to export excess inventory from New Zealand.  Allowing sufficient preparation time, it was envisaged the shipment would take place no earlier than mid-January 2009.  Consolidation, shipment, Australian clearances, and delivery to the Ritchie Bros. auction yards had to be completed in time for Ritchie Bros. auctions at Yatala and Geelong, in March 2009.   Allowance had to be made for Ritchie Bros‘ usual refurbishment and auction preparation which we were told, for this shipment, required a minimum of two weeks prior to the auction date.  This gave Freightplus a 6-week shipping window, door to door.

Several heavy machinery freight forwarders were invited to propose solutions to the company’s NZ management.  A Freightplus representative travelled to New Zealand to meet with the client to gain an intimate understanding of their needs.  It quickly became apparent Freightplus was perfectly set up for the job. We knew we had the resources, the expertise and the required contacts to ensure this potentially difficult and complicated project was carried out smoothly and effectively. More importantly, our client felt the same way and appointed Freightplus to manage the project.

It was imperative we delivered in full and on time because of the auction deadlines.  It was equally as important we allowed sufficient time at origin to adequately prepare the cargo and clean it to the required standard.  Freightplus called on our good friends at Hoegh Autoliner, who came to the party by diverting a perfectly timed and ideally suited RO/RO vessel to New Zealand for us.  Loading at Auckland at the end of January and arriving in Austia in mid-February, this allowed us to give our client an extra two weeks’ preparation time and still deliver some two weeks ahead of the required delivery dates in Australia.

We approached the national machinery and military coordination centre of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.  Despite claims from our competitors that we could not coordinate such a large quarantine inspection at such short notice, AQIS kindly made five of their Australian officers available to travel to New Zealand to conduct offshore AQIS inspections on our 116 assorted CAT used machines. Two weeks ahead of the AQIS inspections, Freightplus dispatched three of our own quarantine assessors to New Zealand to help our client’s crews prepare the machines.

At the time, the equipment was spread all over New Zealand – Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei.  Initial cleaning was carried out at these satellite yards and then the machines were transported overland to consolidation points at Christchurch and Auckland.  The Freightplus crew and our client’s crews worked superbly together.

Every machine was stripped of covers, inspection plates, wiring conduit and linings. Radiators were removed and thoroughly cleaned. Blades and buckets were cut open and flushed inside until water ran clear. Because of our goal to deliver these machines ‘auction ready’, after each machine had been passed by AQIS, everything was reassembled again.  It took some long days and nights but eventually, the order was ready to ship and the 116 used earthmoving, mining and construction machines were trucked to clean hard-stands on Auckland and Lyttelton wharves.  Ritchie Bros. personnel made their own preparations ahead of shipment, by travelling to New Zealand to photograph each machine for marketing and to assess what refurbishment work would be required on arrival.  Freightplus completed the various Customs export formalities and documents for export from New Zealand.  Two Freightplus personnel were positioned on each wharf to ensure the machines were kept “AQIS clean” and engines were starting, right up until the ship loaded.

M/V “Atlantic Spirit” arrived on time and got away early, with our cargo of articulated dump trucks, excavators, skid steer loaders, wheel loaders, crawler dozers, rollers, compactors, graders and more.

On arrival in Australia, Freightplus completed AQIS clearance and Customs clearance of 116 individual commercial invoices, including final AQIS release and delivery to the auction sites at Yatala and Geelong.  Freightplus personnel met with Ritchie Bros. following delivery to complete the handover and ensure all items were delivered as they should have been.


Delivery was completed in full, two weeks ahead of the required deadline and thousands of dollars under budget—all items sold at auction.

This client remains an important and valued Freightplus customer.


Freightplus. Worldwide.

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