Hilton Haulage Transport: Parallel Universe

From the April 2013 issue.

Renowned for its natural beauty, New Zealand's South Island is also home to savvy transport operator Hilton Haulage Transport.

It's been a while since the 2009 tumble, but the scars are still fresh in the south of New Zealand, where people have become more sceptical about the global economic system since Europe fell back into a draining double-dip recession.

Hence, business confidence is still not overwhelming on the island that is also known by as Te Wai Pounamu in Maori language, or ‘Water of Greenstone’. Vulnerable to economic change in the Asia Pacific region and fearing a potentially overheating housing market, most people in New Zealand’s road haulage industry are therefore still hesitant to declare the slump over – apart from Peter McAuley, Managing Director at Hilton Haulage Transport.

“When people complain about the slow economy, I usually reply ‘What downturn?’ because we can hardly cope with the workload,” he says – revealing that a smart tactical move half a decade ago has set the business up to be independent from financial turmoil. “Sometimes it’s like we’re operating in a parallel universe, but then again, it’s just a question of which direction you choose. We have changed our core strategy early enough to avoid the crash.”

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