An agreement made at Brisbane Truck Show 2017 would see Fruehauf NZ distribute 42 refrigerated Schmitz Cargobull vehicles into the New Zealand market. These included nine truck and trailer bodies and 24 semi-trailers all with dual temp set-up and built with Schmitz Cargobull’s patented Ferroplast panelling.
As part of the collaboration, Schmitz Cargobull supplied the Ferroplast box bodies which were then fitted onto Fruehauf NZ’s own trailer and customer-specified truck chassis. At the time the agreement was said to equate more than a third of the annual market volume for refrigerated transport equipment in NZ. However, as a result of the single order Fruehauf NZ Managing Director, Jeff Mear, says Schmitz Cargobull was able to captivate around 50 per cent of the NZ marketplace in one year.
“Schmitz Cargobull came out here looking for a partner and they offered the product to us,” he says. “They didn’t expect to have a big start like with our launch customer, Hall’s, which took up a massive percentage of the market.”
Since 2017 Jeff says there’s been rapid growth for both companies.
“Over those six years the product has certainly stamped its foot in New Zealand,” he says. “The market has now seen what the product can do and its point of differences with the other brands. This year its growth has exceeded.”
Jeff is confident the high standards held throughout the Schmitz Cargobull product had a major role in their success within NZ.
“It’s a very good product and it’s a strong product to have in terms of support for our business as well,” he says. “We found having a relationship with Schmitz Cargobull to be quite advantageous for us. It has given us access to their expertise, knowledge and support – as well as their efficiencies and how they measure it. So, it’s given us an insight on how we can improve our business.”
And with an approachable aftersales team supporting Schmitz Cargobull, Jeff says Fruehauf NZ has been able to learn from one of the best.
“Being one of the world’s largest trailer builders they’re good people to deal with,” he says. “You’re able to talk to their research and development department which puts our business in the forefront as well because they have that expertise there. They’ve been very friendly, helpful and supportive in terms of developing the product into the New Zealand market. We’ve definitely found them very professional and good to learn from.”
Schmitz Cargobull’s readily-available supply of units also played a big role in Fruehauf’s operations.
“Especially with all of the supply issues around the world at the moment, it’s given us another avenue to get that supply, because they have more readily access to it,” he says.
This year at Brisbane Truck Show 2023 the team at Fruehauf NZ will be reuniting with Schmitz Cargobull to once again join them on the stage in Brisbane. According to Jeff, this is a good opportunity to further expand the relationship to potential new customers.
“A lot of New Zealanders go over to Brisbane Truck Show and they always have,” he says. “It supports them as well as us to meet clients, identify who they are and introduce them to Schmitz. It’s a fantastic product which has been very good for our business. We see a lot of opportunity to grow with it. But at the end of the day, Schmitz Cargobull is so huge that our market is just not big enough to have what they have.