Type and Cost of Container Transport in New Zealand

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Container Transport

Container transport includes transportation of freight in transportation sealed boxes through trucks, rail, or ships. The standard unit for measuring containers is referred to as TEU or Twenty-Foot Equivalent unit and tons, which represent the standard capacity limit for the containers. One TEU is equivalent to 20-foot container.

Types of Containers in New Zealand

Containers are categorized on the basis of:

  • Attributes: Type of doors
  • Size: Length, width, height of inner and outer dimensions
  • Weight: General weight of container and carry-over load
  • Category of cargo: Based upon type of goods
  • Material: Type of materials used for container body


Generally, dimensions (internal and external) of containers can be classified as follows:

CategoryExternal (Length, Width, Height in mm)Internal (Length, Width, Height in mm)Weight of Container (in Kg)Weight of Load (in Kg)
8-feet2488, 2200, 22602287, 2112, 20599505050
10-feet2591, 2393, 23933029, 2950, 295012558095
20-feet6058, 2438, 25915900, 2352, 2393206028420
40-feet12200, 2438, 259212035, 2352, 2393351026970

 Other generalized features can be summarized as follows:

Type of shipping containerAttributeCategory of cargoMaterialOn-site movementType of Truck
8-feet General PurposeOpen door and lock box for securityGeneral cargo: furniture, Tools, garden equipmentTough corten steelForklift pocketsFlat deck
10-feet General PurposeDouble hinged open doors Lock box for security  General cargo: House, office moves or storageTough corten steelForklift pocketsFlat deck
20-feet General PurposeDouble locking open doorGeneral cargo, Home, office, construction material storageCorten steelForklift pocketsFlat deck
40-feet General PurposeDouble locking open doorGeneral cargo: Home, office, farming vehicles, furnitureCorten SteelForklift pockets, Hiab, swing lift for trucksFlat deck
20-feet ReeferOpen doorTemperature sensitive goodsCorten steel, Aluminum floorsForklift pockets, Swing lift truckFlat deck
20 and 40 feet Open sidedBi-fold doors opening sides, two lock boxesOversized goodsCorten steel,Forklift pockets, site craneFlat deck
20 and 40 feet Open TopRidged roof doorOversized goods for top loadingCorten steelForklift pocketFlat deck
20 and 40 feet Flat RackOpen framedOversized heavy itemsWooden floorForklift pockets, hiab, swing liftFlat deck,
10 and 20 feet Dangerous GoodsOpen door, internal emergency doorFlammable substancesMetal grate floorForklift pockets, Hiabsflat deck
20 and 40 feet Three DoorRidged double side and end doorsGeneral CargoBamboo or plywood floorForklift pocketsFlat deck
20-feet Bulk sizedDouble ridged doors, side mounted releaseCargo not suitable for standard containerSteel/plywood floorForklift pocketsFlat bed
20 and 40 feet Pallet wideVertically ridged steel sides/end wallsGeneral cargo, Industrial productsCorten steel, Plywood floorCraneFlat bed, Double flat bed
10 feet and 20 feet High Cube  Hospitality  ContainerLarge main door, windows, countertop, lock box, smoke alarm, power plugs, charging ports, fuse boxSmall hospitality businesses, including cafes, ice cream stallsStainless steel counter tops, linoleum floor, high grade sealingCrane, Fork liftFlat bed

Types of Trucks Carrying Containers in New Zealand

transporting container

Following are the simplified container transport options in New Zealand:

Tilt-Bed Trucks:

  • Suitable for delivery within 320 KM (200 miles)
  • No forklift or crane help is required for moving container on/off truck
  • Not suitable for stacked containers
  • Bed inclines to slide container on/off
  • Requires large flat and dry area for off-loading the container

Flat-Bed Trucks:

  • Suitable and cost efficient when distance is more than 320 km (200 miles)
  • Requires crane/forklift assistance for container loading-off-loading
  • No walls
  • Costs more than tilt-truck
  • Maximum Length: 53 feet
  • Maximum Height: 8.5 feet
  • Maximum weight capacity: 48,000 pounds

Step-Deck Truck:

  • For long distances and high cube containers, as the bed can step down
  • Functionality is similar to flat bed truck
  • Maximum Length: 53 feet
  • Maximum width: 8.5 feet, for some trucks it is 11 feet; suitable for high cube containers
  • Maximum weight capacity: 48,000 pounds

Double Drop Deck Truck:

  • Similar to step deck truck, but contains two drop down areas
  • Maximum Weight: 45,000 pounds
  • Maximum Length: 29 feet
  • Maximum Height: 11.5 feet
  • Maximum width: 8.5 feet

Preparation of Container Site

Arranging a suitable and perfect site for the container is a vital aspect of container shipment. This involves preparing a landing site for the container or the area where the container will be placed. Following are the aspects while that should be kept in mind while preparing the site:

  • Total weight of container
  • Firmness of the ground: The area should be dry for container doors’ operation
  • Water level, as it should be low for minimum moisture and proper drainage
  • Following council rules and regulations
  • Extra materials needed for loading/unloading
  • Foundations made of concrete footings, concrete slab or wooden beam
  • Site Access:

Sufficient space for trucks and containers as space will be required by trucks for maneuverability for placing the container transport.

It includes a specific clearance area which is an accurate area where the container will be placed and specific measurements can be listed as follows:

TypeWidth Clearance(meter)Height Clearance  (meter)Length Clearance(meter)
Tilt Tray Access34.312 to 14 for 20-feet containers 18 to 20 for 40-feet containers
Side Loader Access34.214 for side loader 3 to 4 for exiting site
Hiab Access3.4 to 41010 for 20-feet Hiab 15 for 40-feet Hiab

Price estimation of container transport in New Zealand

Container transport rate is when the cargo/shipment is picked from a location and delivered to its destination. The costs depend upon numerous factors, including:

Market Features:

Market trends play a crucial role in deciding the cost of transportation. Whether you are a shipper or a carrier, you need to keep an eye on the current market trends for the following:

  • Degree of competition in the market, that if you can cover the current market price
  • Rules and regulations by NZTA for specific product transport, including dangerous goods, weight limitation, and requirements


If you are shipping a full container, you are priced with a per-hundred weight charge in addition to the fuel costs. If you don’t occupy the entire container, the cost is determined through dimensions measured in cubic feet and weight. In addition, your load may require an oversized load permit that can increase the cost of transportation, as any load over thirteen feet and six inches requires a special license.

Type of Load:

As a trucker, you need to know the type of load you will be carrying and make necessary arrangements, and as a shipper, you must describe the load. For example, loads with special temperature requirements need a reefer that costs more, whereas loads that don’t need special conditions might fit into the container transport, not impacting the overall cost. Therefore, the type and density of load play a vital role in determining the cost of shipment.


The distance includes the picked-up location and dropping-off location of container transport. The more the distance, the more the cost, determined through the cost per mile method. If you are shipping from Northland to Christchurch, you will encounter shipment between North and South Island that could ultimately increase the distance and cost of transportation.

Site Access for Container Pickup and delivery

The following checklist can impact the cost of container transport:

  • Site clearance
  • Hazards: Trees, power lines
  • Turnaround: Space for turning around on the site for the truck
  • Conditions of ground
  • Direction of container’s door for accessing

Loading/Unloading Assistance:

A container transport must be loaded on the truck using a crane that may require help and it can increase the shipping rate. Similarly, for unloading use of extra manpower or equipment can increase the costs.

Time of the year:

Peak seasons in New Zealand starts from September/October till February can influence shipping costs due to high demand in freight movement all over the country.


Shipping costs increase with more distances as container shipment increase haulage. With the increment in diesel taxes, carriers need to adjust their rate of shipping for protecting themselves from unexpected fuel rate hikes.

Price of Hiring or Buying Containers:

If you are a carrier or shipper, you must consider the cost of hiring or buying the container in the total cost of shipment, listed as follows:

Costs for Hiring Containers:

Type of ContainerAverage Cost for 30 days (NZD)Average cost for six months (NZD)Average cost per year (NZD)
10-feet General Purpose1309575
20-feet General Purpose1309575
20-feet High Cube175135120
40-feet High Cube185145120
20-feet Reefer509450409
40-feet Reefer830745660

Costs for Buying Containers:

Type of ContainerAverage Cost for Used Containers (NZD)Average cost for New Containers (NZD)
10-feet General Purpose1800-20003000-3500
20-feet General Purpose2200-27503750-4000
20-feet High Cube2800-30004100-4300
40-feet High Cube3000-38006400-6950
20-feet Reefer7000-755028,300-33,000
40-feet Reefer8600-900032,500-39,900

Posting, Bidding and Booking for Container transport made easy at One Click Truck

One Click Truck offers carriers to bid for best-fit route/price and shippers to look for suitable carriers and gain financial benefit. It is a marketplace that brings together shipper and Carrier together for diminishing confusion in bidding.

For Carriers:

Choose your Route, Load, and Price

If you are a carrier and have the required license, you can start your way for entrepreneurship by hiring or buying a truck/container and using our website. Once you have the pre-requisites, you need to register with us and look for the route/load you want to travel and the load you can carry within New Zealand and then bid according to the cost estimate and get paid every week.

Expand your team

Container transport is not easy and can get tiresome for managing containers all alone. You can make up your team responsible for expert packaging, loading, moving, and unloading container shipment. You can spread out the work with your teammates and share the costs. It can be beneficial for you. You will have the opportunity to bid on long routes within New Zealand; whether you are going from Auckland to Dunedin, you will be stress-free to have all the aspects covered during transportation. In this way, One-Click Truck can help you maximize your earnings.

Control schedule and earn rewards.

As a carrier, you can control your schedule for maximum earnings. You can take advantage of peak seasons of freight transportation, from September to March, for earning profits. During these months, factories and warehouses need more shipments before the holiday season, and farmers also require deliveries after harvesting season and want their products in the market. The loads can fulfill your whole container. One-Click Truck can provide you an option for looking the best route, both ways, as you want to avoid dead-head miles and capitalize on your earnings.

Trustworthy carrier-shipper relationship

 Once you have delivered your first load within the time and cost frame, you can earn trust from the shipper for future shipments. Your first association with the shipper can be a door for your future way of earnings, as the shipper will trust you for their items to be delivered on time with safety. They can be your regular customer if they are a frequent shopper, and your capital will always be on the rise. You need to use bid on our platform for the suitable load/route.

You just need to hire a flat-bed truck, crane, and container.

If you have the license for a carrier startup, you can hire a flatbed truck and 20/40 feet container and start bidding on our platform and earning immediately. Numerous companies in New Zealand offer hiring deals per month, quarterly, and even yearly basis and you can manage payments according to your requirements and launch your earning career as soon as you win a bid on One Click Truck.

For Shippers:

Build your shipper’s network

Being the shipper, you have the leverage of building up your network with carriers through gaining market insights. For example, you can post your container load on our website, and through the filter, search/ find the container of your choice with your destination. In addition, you can manage your transportation cost by making strategic decisions by knowing the market rate of your desired route.

Track your load in real-time:

As a shipper, you will have the authority to watch your shipment through One Click Truck’s real-time access. As a result, you can make sure that your shipment reaches the destination safely and timely. You can even avail yourself of the option of setting up alerts for your load.

Competitive Price:

Once you post the load, you can place a compatible market price on our platform. You can then see the response by carriers and have the option of optimizing your pricing strategy, as you can charge a lower fee if the carrier needs less travel time.

Efficient transfer of large loads:

If you are shipping a large container of 20 or 40 feet that requires intermodal shipment, you can select your carriers concerning your requirements by using our services. It might be possible that your load is transformed between truck and ship and onto the truck again with no unloading required. You can bid for the best price and get your shipment delivered at any place in New Zealand, as you can find any shipper to load availability on our platform.

Choose your Container-type sensibly.

As a shipper, you first need to look at your requirements and see which size to store all the goods. For example, 20 feet container can fill up to three bedrooms, and 40 feet container can fill up space for five bedrooms. As you will be paying for the space, you need to decide the most appropriate container. The bidding process on One Click Truck will be based upon cubic feet of your load; it is then crucial for you to get a clear picture of what you need to send.

Building trustworthy relations with carriers:

One-Click lets the shippers select the most qualified carrier for assigning the load and get updates on their container status. This can build a trustworthy relationship with the carrier. You can search for the standby truckers nearby through our database and the best available containers for your shipment for the desired destination. You can make sure that your container is delivered safely, as it is a fragile process. You can take control of transportation a whole lot easier through our services as you will have the option of declining bid if your satisfaction level is not up to the mark.