How to increase sales in your business with these main imports of New Zealand

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As interest rates soar to decades high, the possibility of an economic slowdown is expected in the year ahead. Under these circumstances, it is crucial for companies in New Zealand to take strategic steps towards increasing business resilience to weather through turbulent times. One way your organisation can do so is to introduce new goods into your product mix to increase sales in your business. But before you hit the ground running, careful planning is essential to ensure that your product line-up is relevant to the market so that the demand is sufficient to make your venture profitable. To help you out, DHL Express delves into some of the main imports in New Zealand and how your company can capitalise on them to boost the bottom line and fuel growth.

Main imports of New Zealand and how to capitalise on them

Having established strong trade relations with many nations worldwide, New Zealand imports goods from diverse countries. Among them, New Zealand’s main import partners include China, Australia, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, as noted by Stats NZ, and a breakdown of the top imports is as follows:

1. Motor vehicles

The importing of cars into New Zealand began after the country removed tariff protection. Based on the Trading Economics, vehicles are the top exports from Japan to the nation. In 2022, the total value of imported vehicles saw an increase, amounting to NZ$1.1 billion, as noted in figures released by Stats NZ. This is a 48.2% increase from 2021 and makes this category of goods the largest contributor in value to the country’s total imports. Encouragingly, the rise is observed across all vehicle types, painting a rosy picture for firms looking to sell vehicles.

2. Machinery

Machinery encompasses industrial and direct consumer goods such as computers, air conditioners, centrifuges, and heavy machinery. Like motor vehicles, the machinery category has also seen an upward trend, with imports rising by 15.2% to NZ$1.1 billion as of November 2022, as reported by Stats NZ. Notably, this increase is led by turbojets and their associated parts. Besides this, machines for agricultural use, too, show promising potential. For instance, Research and Markets projected the tractors market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.14% from 2022 to 2028. Thus, businesses could enter this category through these two markets. 

3. Plastics

Based on Stats NZ, plastics imports totalled US$313 million in 2022. Products under this group include plastic articles such as lids, houseware and raw plastic sheeting. However, the government of New Zealand has enforced new regulations prohibiting businesses from selling selected plastic-containing goods from 2022. Thus, businesses must thoroughly examine the relevant laws before importing this category of goods into the country.

4. Pharmaceutical

New Zealand imports a significant amount of pharmaceuticals from countries such as the U.S. and Europe to meet the needs of its citizens. In the report published by Stats NZ, the value of those imports amounted to NZ$230 million, representing an increase of 48% from the previous year. As the number of seniors living longer increases, the demand for pharmaceuticals will likely grow. To tap into the market potential, firms may want to focus their efforts on importing and selling pharmaceutical goods targeted at the elderly.

5. Furniture, lighting signs and prefabricated buildings

Imports under the furniture, lighting signs and prefabricated buildings category amount to NZ$195 million in 2022, as calculated by Stats NZ. Based on Statista’s projection, this market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.68% from 2023 to 2027. In particular, it is worth noting that the New Zealand government has rolled out plans to transform new buildings into green architectural structures. Following this initiative, the demand for eco-friendly prefabricated buildings may increase in tandem, presenting a viable market for firms.

As one of the top 10 eco-friendly countries listed on GreenMatch, sustainability has always been a top priority for New Zealanders. Thus, there may also be potential for consumers’ demand for associated goods such as sustainable furniture to rise in response to this national directive. In light of this, firms keen to explore this category can consider importing sustainable products to sell. 

Challenges when importing goods into New Zealand

While the New Zealand market offers lucrative opportunities, the following challenges businesses face when importing goods to sell often prevent them from maximising their gains.

1. Delays in international shipping

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains remain stretched even when countries gradually resume port operations. As a result, international imports and exports are often delayed owing to global port congestion and supply chain disruptions. With longer shipping time caused by such delays, companies incur direct costs of decreased customer satisfaction or loss of customers. They also end up spending more in areas such as fuel and penalties for late delivery or return of cargo vessels, all of which eat into their eventual sales profit.

2. Meeting the requirements for importing goods into New Zealand

As home to an incredible array of exotic flora and fauna, New Zealand extends its efforts to protect the unique wildlife to its trade regulations. Thus, businesses are subjected to stringent controls when importing goods into New Zealand and often have to navigate complex documentation processes. For instance, wood products require special treatment before import and documents, such as the import health standard (IHS), must be prepared. For first-time importers, it may be challenging to keep up with all the requirements. However, non-compliance or documentation errors can lead to extra costs and delays in receiving your imports.

Shipping made seamless with DHL Express

Certainly, learning how to avoid the above pitfalls on your own is possible. However, this requires effort and time, which is often a luxury in the competitive business world. To shorten the time taken so you can quickly realise gains from importing goods into New Zealand, working with a trusted logistics partner like DHL Express can be helpful. With decades of experience in international shipping, we are well-equipped to guide you through the nuances of customs clearance and shipping for diverse types of goods. Coupled with our extensive global coverage and industry-leading delivery times, you can always be assured of a smooth shipping process and quick delivery that improves customer satisfaction and profitability.

Open a DHL Express business account today to get started with the most confident way to ship your imports and increase sales.