By MARK HAIHUIE
A FULLY-owned PNG company has extended its operations overseas as it continues to enjoy growth after more than 20 years in the trucking business.
Owner and managing director Jacob Luke started Mapai Transport Limited in 1990 and is expanded its freight forwarding services to Auckland in New Zealand.
“I bought a shelf company from a law firm in Mt Hagen when realising I had an opportunity to start a road transport business,” Luke told The National.
“We provide customs and forwarding services for both import and export customers.”
He said the company was enjoying growth and employed more than 400 workers included eight expatriates.
It has branches in Goroka, Mount Hagen, Lae and Port Moresby. Luke said the company boasted an impressive fleet of vehicles.
“The company has 130 rigid trucks including nine specially-configured, plus 52 support light vehicles,” he said.
Its major clients in Papua New Guinea include SP Brewery, Coca Cola and Barrick Niugini in Pogera. It also handles businesses with walk-in customers.
For the Auckland expansion, it will provide mainly logistical support on export and import services.
Luke said it was a way of capitalising on relations the company had in New Zealand while attempting to showcase products that the country exported.
“There is no further room for growth in the PNG transport industry as Mapai Transport has reached its peak here. Therefore we are seeking opportunities in other countries,” he said.
He said the transport industry in PNG was difficult to survive in because of the poor infrastructure.
“PNG has very rugged terrain with a very high rainfall. This requires a very high road maintenance programme which is just not happening,” he said.
“PNG-owned companies in the transport industry have to be patient and be prepared to put in the hard work to expand.”
By MARK HAIHUIE