KPH Transport was founded in 1994 by Brett Wharfe as a transport arm of NZ Hothouse and the packhouse KPH, as it was then.
The first form of transport for his tomatoes was a 1970 Ford Transit truck purchased from his Father in the early 1990’s.
This small truck still is used around the glasshouses to this day.
As the tomato business grew, so did the need for more transport options.
A van and a 4 x 2 Isuzu metro truck was purchased, followed closely by another 4 x 2 Hino.
The first bigger unit followed soon after, a 360hp 8 x 4 Hino. This had a Roadmaster body and was fitted with the very first Thermo King chiller unit.
A second hand Dommet trailer was the next to be added to the fleet, which was pulled by the Hino.
In 2001 the first Scania was purchased from CablePrice in Auckland. Roadmaster built the trailer to suit. This unit was the first real heavy truck KPH owned.
As time passed the larger grocery groups required their produce be delivered in chilled bodies with airbag suspension, insulated curtains and stricter time constraints. This increased cost of equipment meant KPH needed to be a transport provider to other growers to make this viable. Many of KPH’s first customers came from the Pukekohe region, now our customers are spread nationwide.
Not long after, a second Scania Truck + Trailer unit was purchased.
Over the next 10 years we added a new truck and trailer each year to have a total of around 10 units in 2013.
Our fleet's primary business was delivering NZ Hothouse produce to the Auckland Markets and southbound to the Progressive DC in Wellington every Friday and Sunday mornings.
With the ability to provide great service into the Markets and supermarket DC's, the decision was made to start canvasing local growers and larger markets to expand our customer base.
This was the start of KPH becoming a standalone produce carrier.
KPH purchased an existing produce carrier based in Hastings, one of the produce capitals of New Zealand; it was a logical fit. We also added depots in Palmerston North and Cambridge.
With the help of our customers, these new depots saw KPH grow considerably.
Palmerston North has now developed into one of the main hubs of our company servicing clients in Wellington and the Wairarapa regions North.
In 2015 we partnered up with Talley's Group. The joint venture runs a daily service into the South Island 7 days a week and offers an overnight service.
This is one of our core services along with daily runs between Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Hastings and Auckland.
From many of these areas we run satellite services into regions such as Tauranga, Rotorua, Wairoa, Gisborne and many more.
There are now very few parts of the country that KPH cannot provde service to.
Fresh to the door is the minimum requirement for KPH on a day to day basis.
Imperative to the success of this is our continued investment in fleet technologies such as GPS equipment, in-cab cameras, and online management systems that are available with real time data.
Currently we operate over 70 units in our transport fleet.
We are committed to continually updating our equipment and procedures to provide a premium service for our customers.