Refrigafreighters to open first Waikato depot at Ruakura Superhub

16 February 2024

Refrigafreighters Ltd (RFF), a leading New Zealand operator in temperature-controlled transport, storage, and distribution, is putting down roots in the Waikato region, with its first depot to open at Ruakura Superhub in late 2024.

Artist's impression for new Refrigafreighters facility at Ruakura Superhub

TGH Chair, Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua, has welcomed RFF and acknowledged the significance of the Superhub’s first tenant announcement for 2024.

“It’s great to kickstart the new year with this announcement which is an indication of continuing momentum after two years of particularly strong growth at the Superhub,” says Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua. “It further confirms the progress of our strategy to support regional economic growth in order to enable the success and development of our iwi today and for the generations to come.”

RFF’s chief executive, Michael Roberts, says expected economic growth in the golden triangle region was the driver for its sixth depot nationwide, and first in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

“The dynamic of Auckland, Tauranga, and Hamilton as an economic growth engine for New Zealand pointed towards Ruakura as the best location for Refrigafreighters’ next depot,” says Michael Roberts.

TGH chief executive, Chris Joblin, is excited to see a home-grown New Zealand business building a base in Hamilton and adding another major transport sector business to the cluster of temperature-controlled facilities at Ruakura.

“Refrigafreighters is a welcome addition to the range of speciality logistics providers and distributors already located at Ruakura,” says Chris Joblin.

The Superhub’s central location and proximity to the Waikato Expressway and Ruakura Inland Port will support the operational efficiency and growth of RFF - which has established a specialty in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and time-critical freight deliveries.

“We see having a freight hub in the Waikato region as a necessity. Many of our key customers already have a strong production and delivery presence in the region, and we anticipate an even greater increase in demand for food, and food processing, primarily in the golden triangle. Our investment in growth at Ruakura will solidify our network across the North Island and enable the delivery of high-quality service to our customers,” says Roberts.

With over 190 chiller/freezer trucks and trailers, operating 24/7 nationwide, RFF plays a key role in feeding the country. It works with some of New Zealand’s foremost food companies and brands.

“With MBIE forecasting that 700,000 more people will live in the golden triangle within 20 years, our region will need extra capacity in the food supply chain. Refrigafreighters adds to the supply chain options for our local businesses and will help serve the everyday needs of a fast growing population,” says Joblin.

The 1,000sqm facility to be developed by TGH includes fridge and freezer space and accompanying office space. The building is targeting a Green Star 4 rating. Facility design and build is underway with main contractor Calder Stewart Construction targeting completion and being ready to operate in the last quarter of 2024.

The facility includes four truck docks and extra parking on a 5000sqm lot, providing plenty of growing room for its starting fleet of seven new delivery trucks. All trucks based here will serve the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, with further operational support from the existing RFF network.