Mainfreight's IoT story


Customer problem

Relying on staff to manually report the location of Mainfreight's segregation bins made for inefficient network planning


End-to-end asset tracking to improve accuracy of bin location, generate insights as needed and save money


Mainfreight has better visibility of their assets, and they can keep fewer bins in circulation

Keep track of high-value assets with Spark's end-to-end IoT solution

Mainfreight is New Zealand’s largest logistics provider operating throughout China, Europe, USA and New Zealand. It has 7,500 employees worldwide.

Mainfreight staff were manually locating and reporting the location of segregation bins, used for transporting hazardous materials. By the time the data came in, it was often inaccurate. The business wanted a solution to improve its local network planning.

How Spark added value

The Spark IoT team worked with Mainfreight to design and roll out a solution.

They attached hardware sensors to each segregation bin. The sensors are connected via Spark's Low Power IoT network, LoRaWAN™. This network sends smaller amounts of information over long distances. This makes it perfect for monitoring things like power, water, fuel and stock. This network gives tracking devices a much longer battery life compared to other mobile networks.

Achieving results

Location data from the bin sensors is sent to a dashboard for automated reporting. Accurate, on-demand bin location data allows Mainfreight to rebalance their network faster. They've saved on costs, both in employee time and asset utilisation. Even better, fewer bins are required to be in circulation at any given time.




In order to provide ambulance service coverage throughout NZ, St John and Wellington Free Ambulance rely on both paging and SMS notifications to initiate ambulance dispatch procedures. They also need to manage communications with workers throughout the ambulance dispatch process.


Kevin Drinkwater
CIO, Mainfreight

“We have been waiting on this technology for 10 years. And now the tech has finally converged with reality.”