Global logistics company Mainfreight's brand new $40 million freight facility has been officially opened.
Spanning 6.1ha on Mangatawa land parallel to Tauranga's Eastern Link, the 18,200sq m freight terminal is the largest transport branch for the company's New Zealand network.
the facility was officially opened with formalities including a powhiri and special haka on behalf of Mangatawa.
James Tapiata's large whale carving depicting a Māori legend of the arrival of a family of whales known as Mangatawa, Hikurangi and Kopukairoa, which stretches as tall as the ceiling in the entrance of the new facility was also unveiled.
Mainfreight's founder and chairman Bruce Plested said he was proud to officially open the facility.
"It is just fabulous. It has got everything that we know and ever learned over 42 years that should be in a depot."
That included solar panels that lined the roof, a truck wash station that recycles 80 per cent of its water, and electric vehicle car parking stations.
"We are just getting better and better at what we do. It's all a team effort."
The words 'Special people, special company' are printed on the building's exterior - something Plested says was a statement they came up with back in 1988.
Plested said opening a multi-million-dollar global facility, the largest in its New Zealand network, in Tauranga was important.
"Tauranga is a growing place and it has become New Zealand's largest port. Of course, we do sea and air freight, warehousing, domestic transport by rail and road and in Tauranga we have about 22 truckloads a day of freight coming through here.
"It is a big spot for us and a very important one."
Tauranga branch's timeline
1978 - The journey begins. Mainfreight is founded by Bruce Plested on March 6
1979 - The company's 100-year vision is adopted
1984 - The first Air and Ocean branches open in Christchurch and Auckland
1986 - The company welcomes its 100th team member
1989 - The company begins operating in Australia as Mainline Distribution
1988 - Mainfreight Tauranga is established
1994 - Mainfreight acquires Daily Freightways and Chemcouriers in New Zealand
1997 - The company values are celebrated in the form of Three Pillars
1998 - Milestone: Company opens its 50th branch and welcomes its 1000th member
2001 - The Mainfreight Tauranga branch gets an upgrade
2003 - Air and Ocean Tauranga is established, starting with a team of one. Mainfreight also acquires Owens Group in New Zealand. (Balance acquired in 2006.)
2004 - Milestone: Mainfreight opens its 100th branch
2006 - The company's Otahuhu flagship site is opened. The team grows to 3000
2007 - A US acquisition provides the basis for Mainfreight USA
2011 - Milestone: Mainfreight opens 200th branch, also acquires Wim Bosman, securing a European footprint. Team grows to 5000
2013 - Mainfreight's global warehousing footprint reaches 409,730sq m
2014 - Milestone: Mainfreight is established in 20 countries
2015 - Globally, the company moves more than 250,000 20ft equivalent containers
2018 - Mainfreight signs the Mangatawa 99-year ground lease for the new Tauranga site
2019 - Company breaks ground and the new Tauranga branch build begins. Team grows to 8000
2020 - The new Tauranga branch build is finished and the branch is open for business