A True story





Shipping Container in NZ

If you think sending a container to Thailand has its implications try sending one to Wellington New Zealand and see what happens especially if intending to clear the Container yourself which many people do and which we as a Shipping Company in Thailand . It cost us more than we anticipated. Bringing a container to Wellington New Zealand be careful as the Company whose job it is to devan your goods are prone to pilfering your goods if you do not have tabs on the process. This happened to us in Oct 2007 thinking that this does not happen in a top Western Country like NZ. Don’t believe it!. We sent a 20ft shipping container to Wellington NZ on behalf. He was told that his container would arrive in Wellington on the 23rd September 2007 but because it had excavators and machinery inside amongst other things for a project the whole container contents had to be taken out and inspected which is called devanning. He was totally happy with not sending the container CIF due to NZ's high level of security, but he was in for a shock. One Company whose job it is to devan (takes all goods out of a container) for the purposes of MAF inspection is based on Wellington Wharf. NZ. The company is sanctioned by the New Zealand MAF or NZ Agriculture and Fisheries dept whose job it is to inspect for dirt, organisms and so forth that may pose a danger to NZ agriculture and fisheries hence their name.  Basically the devanning Company is conveniently located on the wharf near the MAF office so this makes sense. By the way we owned the container and it was not a leased 20ft Container so we believe we could have had it inspected at out premises. The cost to devan (take goods out) is about $380+ GST but then you have the problem of putting the goods back inside another $250 + GST around $838 with MAF cxharges.Take off steam cleaning MAF charges $145. MAF = $174 = this is normal and OK. We relied on this company to do their job but what we got was a total shock to the system.

We left the security container door key to the container and machinery with the Manager before the container arrived but the lock was cut by someone on the premises??? Unsure why but there was no liaison between the Office and workers it seems as the keys were given to them as stated? This meant once the container was reloaded there was no padlock on the doors?? hence no security and no reasons were given as to why the padlock safety lock was cut off when we asked. There were no reasons or calls to us to tell us we now had a container without a lock on it.

The NZ Customs also inspected the goods before reloading and are excellent, very quick and no problems. Of all the depts theNZ Customs was the most informative Government Department, very helpful and provided a good customer service second to none. The NZ Customs are well organized and do their job well. Remember we are clearing this container ourselvers and not using a Freight Clearing agent. MAF on the other hand wouldn’t have a clue and the help desk had no idea if we could have devanned the container on our premises and carried out inspection there. The person in charge was away and their help desk new nothing -- great information? Not one person told us to look on the website which normally a help desk would be instructed to do. But the MAF website is excellent , very informative and their email feedback is excellent as well for future reference and help which will allow us to use other devanning facilities in the future.

Some of our goods were pilfered before reloading the goods back into the container and after MAF and Customs inspected the shipment. We lost a 120metre coil of expensive neutral screen 16mm underground electrical cable used to run underground electricity; and we are short of a new amber rotating beacon warning light & hot water cyclinder flue. Cost to us for time we went thru, unable to complete our project & costs: $NZ15,000 as we needed this cable for an urgent job. The container was not put back together as we would have expected. We do not mind the costs of paying any services if the services are above standard --this is normal practise. We have explained why we never sent this container CIF (Cost Insurance, Freight ).

We also wish to note that the NZ Customs inspected the goods confirmed to us in writing items were there and noted by Customs. We even paid the duty on the stolen items. When we filed a complaint on Thursday 4th October 2007 to the Company regarding the theft we were told all the goods that came out were in the area of devanning and that they could not help us.

Need more info of this Company please write to us!!

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We note there is security on the wharf-- of course every wharf in the world has security!!. Yes 2 male staff ( perhaps over the retirement age) in a security check point who do not seem to inspect the goods just check photo ID of incoming drivers (no details are written down, no photo ). They did not come outside the security box just opened a window slider, checked a photo ID and said no problem as easy as that. We thought they had photographic memories. In Thailand these IDs are written down and kept until the person exits. We followed a Falcon utility taking a consignment LCL of personal items in thru the security point destined for Australia apprx 1.5cbm ( we were in the Security van) but there was no inspection of his goods he was offloading as we talked to the Ute driver who had never been on the wharf (could have been a bomb) & at the outer security check even a greater shock. When you leave the premises there is an unmanned gate (no check of goods leaving —noone manning the exit but yes there could be video surveilance & auto opener but no inspection of inside a vehicle=== great ) as we followed the same utility out.

For visitors wanting to proceed onto the wharf you must show a picture ID (again no details of the visitor is noted by the Guard staff ). You get taken into the compound and dropped off in a security van then picked up again when wanting to leave the wharf. From the moment you enter you must cross the floor to the main office. No signs of surveillance on the way. You are not inspected on the way out either but you do have the feeling of bring safe. Theres no inspection of goods out apart from the ID inspection coming in so employees can easily hide contraband relatively easily and get off the wharf. You actually feel quiet safe and that security is excellent but don’t believe what you see if at all you can see anything. As we had no insurance (CIF) thinking nothing would happen to our container in such a Security 1st World Class Western country like NZ there is no comeback hence we are publishing this as a warning to all those who are sending or intending to send goods to NZ. The office Manager is Ok and very helpful and informative so we feel it is not his fault but it is the workers who are the culprits and there is perhaps no surveillance ( we could not see any) in the area from the main office. This then allows the workers to have a free hand to help themselves to peoples goods. In a security zone where you have peoples goods at stake; where secuity must be at the highest level, where inward sea freight goods can contain anything and everything there should be surveillance, but there was nothing from our observations —we look at it as unbelievable and how easy it would be for a would be terrorist to infiltrate this Wharf in Wellington New Zealand. Even in Thailand the security is a lot better but we hope the departments involved will tighten up and solve this problem.


As we owned this container why weren’t we told that the container could be inspected at our premises?? Why are we not told our options at a supposed Government help desk --- the staff could not answer us??
MAF took the plates off the inner rear track covers 8 bolts. The plates were not put back on as you would think and the plates left on the deck of the excavator with 2 bolts down a crevase on the floor but we paid $837 for a supposedly good service. Its like taking one wheel off a car and not putting it back but then we paid to have everything put back as normal or so we thought. We hope the wharf security will tighten up.  We also feel the cost to devan was in excess as the company did not realize also the container belonged to our company and the goods were not repacked properly as we had some goods broken. On our inspection the damage was not from movement within the container during trucking as the items of concern were not vulnerable to damage from other items. We think the goods were thrown in. As we too are an experienced shipping Company in Thailand this has to be a bad case of pilfering and one which we must ask who else has been affected by this company.We understand what packing is all about, what Freight clearing is all about, what PR is all about as well as customer service



Before you send goods to NZ ask MAF (Ministry of Agricuture and Fisheries ) email: and website is: the alternatives to have your goods inspected if MAF needs to inspect. Remember all wood products, agricuture machinery, cars etc and crates must be inspected so have these up the front so you don't pay to have the whole container devanned. We thought pilfering in NZ was full proof but it’s a joke so be warned. It used to happen a lot back in the 60s and 70s but it still happens to day in October 2007.

For all those affected by losing goods on Wellington wharf please email us as we would like to know your experiences.


We did send email to the Company concerned NO REPLY. We also sent MAIL regarding this matter to the NZ Embassy Bangkok and they were good enough to tell us to file with the NZ Police which we have done. The NZ Police to date have not been able to locate any of our lost goods. The Company where out container was devanned never replaced our padloclk, but of course charged us and took less care in putting the items back into the container.. They never followed our instructions as we asked..

It is important for all importers to file a complaint as although they cannot help they are made aware of the situation. We also understand that it is a Police matter of theft and this is a warning to others shipping not just to NZ but everywhere.


 Our recommendations sending goods to NZ:
1/. Have insurance and ask to watch the repacking process.
2/. If items are stolen notify the receiving agent or whoever you use which to us was really is a waste of time but do it anyway and also file a report of the items stolen to the NZ Police.
3/. Keep a record and itemize everything in the shipment & itemize all goods going back into the container when you inspect or use an agent.The Packing list is very important.
4/. If you are a foreigner file to the NZ Embassy any problems ans demand a reply.
Note how your goods are loaded and examine all items from your packing list on discharge
5/. Send us an email so we can tell others to beware.

6/. ASK MAF for alternate facilities to inspect and what are your options and where else can you have inspections carried out.

7/. Take photos

NZ Embassy Bangkok Thailand: email:



As we are updating information we have asked the Embassy if any improvements have been done and to date received nothing from the company about out greivance. As there Manager told us thery cannot do anything but surely if they cut the padlock when the key was in their office they could have replaced it??? In this instance NO hence our publication.


No ID copies or details of the incoming visitor is noted. If entering on wet days even better as guess who will not want to get wet!! Lack of security cameras on staff and devanning areas. No manning of outside gate facilities. We are happy to hear from the companies concerned to rectify this.


Thailand is a 3rd world country but has far better security

We are an established Thailand Ltd Company and have been in the shipping business now for the last 10 years being affilated to the Thai Federation Of Industries (EAN); Chamber of Commerce; and Member of Thailand Foreign Trade. We praise ourselves on offering our customers quality services from packing, information, shipping and clearing which we have maintained over these years which has established Asia Trading Shipping in the forefront of the Internet in shipping goods worldwide in and out of Thailand for customers both big and small. Our services to our customers are paramount and we have never lost a shipment or had items stolen from one of our shipments in all these years. . However this all changed in NZ in Oct 2007.

We not expect to get restitution for our goods stolen for as the saying goes we should have had insurance; but we believe in making a point


When shipping ask the shipper who will ship the goods to NZ (Shipping Line) & who will be the Delivery Agent in NZ. If this agent is different from your own then you will pay a delivery fee of anywhere around $460NZ basically a service charge. You also need to have the notifying party on the BIL (Bill of Lading) and please ask your agent in NZ to notify you of the Shipping Company who they are agents for so this goes on the BIL to avoid double costs.

NZ is over the top on transport charges so if you have a mate to pick up use him?? Ask for a per km cost for any transport charges. Works out @ $NZ2.98 per km to your wharf to depot; depot to destination then return leg. It is not the freight shipping companies fault it is the Govt tax road user charges & contractors fees which make transport in NZ one of the dearest places in the world to have freight moved internally.

Port Service Charge  WLG /// AKL   same   75.00 NZD per M3/1000 kilo.

NEW ZEALAND: [ What you will pay for your Container] [ LCL stuffup with TOLLNZ April 2008 ] [ Kiwi factories moving to Thailand 2009 ] [ NZ exports & shipping news ] [ NZ exports Mainfreight costs 2009 ]

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