A trucking company that has kept courier packages flowing in the Top of the South since the earthquake has been honoured with a national award for its efforts.
McCrostie Trucking, based near St Arnaud, received the Linehaul Contractor of the Year at the Fastway Couriers Excellence Awards held in Rotorua earlier this month.
The company holds linehaul contracts with Fastway Couriers to transport packages between centres in the Top of the South, Christchurch and the West Coast.
Husband-and-wife team Daryl and Dominique McCrostie run the business, and said the earthquake presented logistical challenges which saw them take on more staff.
* Huge increase in traffic on alternate SH1 route through St Arnaud
* Up to ‘1000 trucks a day’ on alternative Picton-Christchurch route during busiest freight month of the year
* Lower speed limits on alternative State Highway 1 may become permanent
Before the earthquake, three of their five trucks made nightly runs south to Christchurch on State Highway 1, a journey of about four hours from Blenheim.
But the closure of the highway and the re-routing of traffic through the alternative route meant more drivers were needed to make the longer journey.
“It was a huge effort to keep the freight flowing,” Daryl McCrostie said.
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“It added four hours to a return trip between Blenheim and Christchurch, resulting in us needing more staff to do that,” he said.
The business took on another three fulltime staff and five part-timers taking the total number of drivers up to 12.
Conditions on the alternative route, which connected Picton and Christchurch through the Lewis Pass, were frustrating to start with, but they were continually improving.
“Straight after the earthquake when there was all the traffic hopping on it wasn’t handling it and the road conditions were poor,” Daryl McCrostie said.
“But all the drivers acknowledge it’s been continuously improving. The roading crews have been doing a great job and it’s become a lot better than it was in November.”
The five trucks, which together did more than 4000 kilometres a day, were on the road the day of the earthquake and the company had not stopped since, Daryl McCrostie said.
Fastway Couriers New Zealand chief executive Scott Jenyns said McCrostie Trucking had got on with the job despite all the hurdles thrown in their way.
“Daryl has gone above and beyond the challenges that were presented to ensure freight was delivered into Nelson and Marlborough as early as possible,” he said.