Temporary Service Continuity Surcharge

The current temporary service continuity surcharge is:


The month of June saw reductions in costs associated with maintaining the capacity to use secondary roads in the area impacted by the Kaikoura earthquakes.

As promised, these savings are being handed onto our customers and the Temporary Service Continuity Surcharge is being reduced.

Moving forward, we will continue to hand on any changes in costs to our customers (based on costs from the month before). July sees the surcharge decrease from 0.9% to 0.65% (this is based on reduced costs in June).

We will continue to reassess monthly – any changes will be made for the following month and published on our website in the table above (decreases or increases).


At the beginning of May 2018, State Highway One north of Kaikoura extended its opening hours through the night. However, it has been made clear that there is a volume of work to be completed through 2018 before there will be swift and reliable movement through this area. Road users are advised to leave plenty of time for their trip (if using this route) and told to check real-time road status before driving on this area of road.

Advice from the New Zealand Transport Authority has emphasised the fragility of this route. There are multiple 'single lane' sections that are controlled by traffic lights and if there is a volume of rain, the road may well be closed as a precautionary measure.

New Zealand Couriers is not prepared to compromise or reduce our network's reliability and has retained the infrastructure that allows the use of secondary roads when required – this maintains our ability to move our customers freight, even when the route fails and is closed.

Given the costs of maintaining our capability to use secondary roads remain; this stretch of road is still slow and cumbersome to use and there is a lack of confidence in ongoing access 24/7 through the South Island's winter conditions - the 0.9% surcharge is remaining in place to contribute to ongoing additional costs for NZC.

Key additional cost include...

  1. Extra trucks positioned for the road connections, as Blenheim – Christchurch network timings are compromised by increased travel times (and trucks cannot make connections)
  2. Extra drivers in place, as the reduced capacity of State Highway One and the possibility reverting to secondary roads means 'driver hours' are extended (the safety of our drivers cannot be compromised)
  3. Keeping the infrastructure in place to shuttle drivers where needed, to keep our customers' freight moving.

Should we not maintain the above infrastructure – 'unexpected road closure' or 'delays', mean missed connections and potentially, trucks and freight not moving. As New Zealand's express package leaders, we are simply not prepared to take these risks with our customer's courier items.

Once there is confidence in the normal operation of this key piece of road – we will be happy to reduce/remove all the additional infrastructure we have in place and reduce/remove the surcharge – but given the current situation, we are continuing to bear extra cost on these roads and we will share a portion of these costs with our customers.

We thank our customers for their understanding of this situation that is beyond our control – and continue to do all we can to give our customers certainty of service.


State Highway One north of Kaikoura re-opened for daytime traffic only on 15 December 2017. This opening came with a number of restrictions including 'single lane passage', 'speed restrictions' and unsealed sections.

There is little or no benefit for our linehaul network from this first opening phase as our vehicles must travel at night - the 0.9% surcharge is remaining in place.

We do continue to monitor the situation, and once normal services can resume on an ongoing basis, the surcharge will be removed. If conditions alter in a way that improves our ability to operate our linehaul network the surcharge will be reduced.

We thank our customers for their understanding of this situation that is beyond our control.


Highway closures as a result of the Kaikoura earthquakes have brought on major unexpected costs to our business in the form of significantly greater transport costs in order to maintain service standards. To help cover a portion of these unanticipated operating expenses we are introducing a temporary 0.9% surcharge to our courier service charges.

Adding a surcharge was a transparent method of sharing these increased costs, and gives us the flexibility to adjust the figure accordingly based on conditions improving or worsening.

It is a flat rate, which makes it easier for you to understand the cost impact on your business, as opposed to complex route based permutations.

This surcharge will be operating separately from our existing flexible fuel factor and road user charges and be applied to the base price independently.

For example:

If the base price is $10.00, FFF is 2.7% for the month and RUC’s is 2.0% and the temporary surcharge is 0.9% then the total price would be calculated as follows:
$10 x (2.7% + 2.0% + 0.9%) = $10.56

The temporary surcharge is designed to be removed or changed swiftly, for when the situation resolves or alters (for the better or the worse).

For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (November 2016).