Alexander Group : A Family Affair

Joshua MannLily Sawyer
Joshua Mann - Regional Director Lily Sawyer - Editor

As New Zealand’s leading nationwide provider of specialist transportation and distribution solutions for hazardous and high-value goods, Alexander Group has operated as a trusted, family-run business since 1971. Hayley Alexander, CEO and second-generation business owner, tells us more.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Amidst a diverse and stimulating industry, and with over 50 years’ experience in safe and efficient transportation, specialising in both bulk and packaged gas distribution across New Zealand and internationally, Alexander Group emerges as a logistics operations enterprise with a difference.  

The company’s distinguished record has earned it a reputation for reliability and safety, whilst its commitment to excellence and innovation has positioned Alexander Group as a trusted leader in the industry, where the notion of ‘family’ runs deep.  

“We’re passionate about what we do, and as a family-run company, it’s part of who we are,” opens Hayley Alexander, CEO of Alexander Group.  

Founded by John and Cecile Alexander in 1971, Alexander Group is now run by the second generation of the family, of which all three siblings are actively involved in the company’s management.    

“I’m one of three siblings; my brother Rod and sister Gabrielle work alongside me. This awards Alexander Group with a unique, family feel, which I believe is one of our key points of difference,” she continues.  

With a technical background in social work and policy, Hayley’s skillset is ideally matched to implement an ambitious business model whilst managing a large workforce.   

“When managing a customer interface or understanding what the business needs to execute its huge scope of work, my experience comes in useful. It’s about understanding people and the bigger picture, both structurally and socially.” 

With a nationwide presence, 180 staff, a fleet of over 100 trucks, and operating across 21 locations, Alexander Group offers unparalleled expertise and innovative multi-modal solutions for a vast range of transportation needs.

ENDLESS CAPABILITIES

Regarding its core competencies, the organisation supplies end-to-end solutions for well-known gas companies across New Zealand, including the transportation of cryogenic gases, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and carbon dioxide, as well as medical and industrial gas cylinders, AdBlue, and more recently, refrigerated goods.  

In addition to a suite of specialised contracts, Alexander Group’s core service offerings are bolstered by its accreditations, facilities, and systems, enabling the safe transport of hazardous substances in accordance with rigorous regulations. 

“With over 25 years’ experience in transporting dangerous goods, and as a member of the LPG Association of New Zealand and NZ Hydrogen Council, we’re committed to ensuring the safe transportation of substances in the communities we serve. Our core focus is safety and security,” she outlines.  

The company’s deep market knowledge, coupled with its ability to manage discrete resources within the oil and gas sector, means that it is able to supply tailored services for its customers, especially when it comes to the transportation of high-value goods.  

“We work in close partnership and collaboration with our customers. Our strength lies in our ability to simultaneously manage health, safety, and compliance, and safely deliver on time.”  

Alexander Group’s operations remain unperturbed despite manifold factors that threaten to undermine them, such as unexpected weather conditions or natural disasters.  

“Our ability to manage a specialised supply chain across the country and customise a service to continue to deliver on time, every time, even in the face of unexpected circumstances, sets us apart from the competition,” Hayley explains.  

Transport partners and suppliers enable the company to maintain a nationwide presence and a reputation for excellence.  

“Connecting with competent and reliable partners keeps us particularly strong,” states Hayley.  

Facilitated by Scania, all of Alexander Group’s fleet is telematics and artificial intelligence (AI) camera enabled. This promotes impeccable driver behaviour and high productivity outcomes within the company. 

“Our network of service providers is critical to keeping our fleet on the road, and they reach all corners of the country, making us one of the most efficient freight companies New Zealand has to offer,” she comments.  

“In addition, we have strategic partnerships with other transport companies and freight forwarders, which gives our customers the most responsive and connected network of hubs and high-quality trucks and drivers throughout the country.” 

A pre-qualifier to work both in partnership or on the team at Alexander Group is a commitment to safety and the highest service standards.   

“Our hard work over decades has earned us industry recognition,” Hayley states.  

Alexander Group was proud to be presented the award for Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety at the Transporting New Zealand Industry Awards in 2022, whilst its training and compliance programme was recognised with the company receiving the Company Driver Safety Award at the Australasian Fleet Champions Awards in 2023.  

Rod Alexander, Transport Adviser, leads all fleet procurement and was acknowledged as Road Risk Manager of the Year at the same awards for his unrelenting commitment to engineering in fleet safety, providing drivers with the most modern and safe vehicles on the roads in New Zealand.

STAFF AND SUSTAINABILITY

Recognising the importance of sustainability and integrating eco-friendly practices within its operations is an integral part of Alexander Group’s operations.  

“Our commitment to environmental stewardship extends beyond compliance, as we actively seek ways to minimise our carbon footprint and promote responsible transportation practices,” Hayley informs us.  

All of Alexander Group’s trucks are kitted out with EURO 6 emission diesel engines, the lowest emission engines available on the market. 

“For each of our engines, we have a replacement policy with our partner, Scania,” Hayley divulges. This means as soon as its engines are not operating at maximum efficiency, the company is able to swiftly replace them. 

Moreover, Alexander Group is actively engaged in seeking an alternative fuel solution to power the business.  

“As a member of the Hydrogen Council of New Zealand, we’re an active part of a national shift towards a sustainable future. We hold the unique position of being the only transporter of bulk hydrogen throughout New Zealand, which we have been carrying out for over two decades for our platinum customer, BOC.  

“Although hydrogen truck fuel technologies are yet to be fully commercially available in New Zealand, we’re certainly interested in implementing hydrogen fuel into our vehicles and are proud to be a small part of enabling the innovative solutions emerging in the New Zealand transport industry through delivering hydrogen,” affirms Hayley. 

In addition to its sustainability practices, the company also invests heavily in its staff.  

“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand experienced a serious shortage of staff. Although extremely difficult at the time, it enabled us to view things differently,” Hayley shares.  

As a result of the pandemic, Alexander Group began to train and develop younger cadets.  

“We now have a far better process for training and upskilling our staff and developing their careers. We don’t view our employees solely as truck drivers; they’re highly professional, skilled colleagues,” she enthuses. 

The company seeks to enable its staff to cultivate long-term, rewarding careers within the company, with optimum working conditions and opportunities to upskill.  

“Ultimately, we want to avoid incidents, and to this end, we do a lot of training, fatigue management, and varied shift times to ensure drivers retain the right behaviours to avoid accidents and incidents.” 

Promoting impeccable driver conduct and high productivity outcomes is considered an essential aspect of logistics management within Alexander Group.  

“In short, we’re creating opportunities that enable our people a strong career pathway within the company,” Hayley states.

“The reason we have achieved such success today is that we’ve got incredible people on our team, whilst our investment in digital platforms and our ability to partner with people that can provide effective solutions puts us on top”

Hayley Alexander, CEO, Alexander Group

FUTURE FACILITY

Looking to the future, Alexander Group is focusing on developing its expertise across the board. 

“We’re looking to grow and expand within the specialised oil and gas sector, as well as in other associated industries, such as high-value goods, bulk liquids, and refrigerated transportation,” Hayley outlines.  

With a focus on domestic growth, the company also wishes to expand its strategic hubs nationwide. 

“We’ve recently established a new hub which entirely changed the network design for some of our customers and expanded our distribution network.”  

The hub in question, based in Hautapu, Waikato, led to the company being able to maximise its network and attract an expanded customer base due to its strategic location with access to ports, rails, and roads.  

In addition to its physical expansion, Alexander Group’s commitment to digitalisation is notable.  

“Digitalisation has been a strategic focus for the company in recent years and has facilitated a growth mindset. Ultimately, it has enabled us to grow from a small to a medium-sized family business,” Hayley reveals.  

The company’s digital activities range from scaling its systems and processes more efficiently to adopting new technologies, such as AI, to optimise its operations.  

“Our digital customer platforms are critical to our service provision and managing a distributed workforce across the country,” she states.  

Ultimately, in a world dedicated to decarbonisation, reducing emissions, and increasing efficiency, Alexander Group seeks to enhance its capabilities through a range of strategies as it moves forward into 2024.  

“The reason we have achieved such success today is that we’ve got incredible people on our team, whilst our investment in digital platforms and our ability to partner with people that can provide effective solutions puts us on top,” she concludes.

ALEXANDER GROUP PARTNER

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By Joshua Mann Regional Director
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Joshua Mann is a Regional Director for Outlook Publishing, international media and publishing company. Joshua is currently responsible for showcasing leaders, c-suite executives and company success stories from the Mining & Resources sector across Africa.