KiwiRail VBS Requirements
05 Feb 2021

Please see below Newsletter from KiwiRail in regards to the VBS Go-Live.

5 February 2021

Dear Customer,

Following on from our confirmation earlier this week of the VBS ‘go-live’ for our Southdown Container Transfer site yesterday, this additional Newsletter is to remind you of the basic requirements necessary to make a VBS booking.

Some of you have reached out to us advising that the required Carrier Access Agreement is still showing in the Containerchain system as having a ‘pending’ status. Please don’t worry, as this will automatically move to ‘accepted’ status at the time of go-live for bookings, which was 0001 hours today, Friday the 5th of February.

As at this morning a total of 95 transport operators have accepted the Carrier Access Agreement terms. If you are concerned that you or any other transport operator may not have registered, please let us know and we can check the Containerchain system for you.

As we advised yesterday, VBS bookings can be made up to 72-hours prior to the VBS slot time you are seeking i.e. a 0700-0730 VBS slot on a Friday can be booked from 0700 of the immediately preceding Tuesday, a 1200-1230 VBS slot on a Sunday can be booked from 1200 of the immediately preceding Thursday and so on. Based on the experience of other VBS controlled sites, we believe this should provide ample time for all bookings to be made.

I trust that by now all of your relevant staff have had a chance to familiarise themselves by looking at some of the training videos via the links provided, or are otherwise already very comfortable with the system given that other large sites within Auckland e.g. Metroport, Metrobox, CRS etc., have been using the same product for some time now.

The key for a smooth transition from the prior practice where no VBS bookings were required to gain entry into Southdown, to the new process which requires such bookings to be made, are not all that significant, but if not followed, it will not be possible to make a VBS booking and therefore entry into the site will be refused. There will be no exceptions to this.

In order to try and ensure the migration to VBS is free from unnecessary disruption, it’s vitally important that all people responsible for arranging road transport to either deliver or pick up a container, be they empty or loaded, are aware that there are some minimum, mandatory requirements that are necessary to make a valid VBS booking. These are either the :-

• KiwiRail freight booking number (i.e. ABCD1234); or

• Container number that is being picked up or delivered (i.e. RMTU1234567).

As long as you have one of the above at the time you wish to make a VBS booking, you can do so. A failure to have at least one of them, will result in you being unable to make a VBS booking and therefore being unable to enter our Southdown site.

While the process to book VBS slots is straight forward for transport operators seeking to either deliver or pick up a loaded container, there are a some things you need to know in relation to the requirements for either picking up an empty KiwiRail provided container that is planned to be loaded and returned to Southdown for a subsequent rail movement, or when an empty KiwiRail provided container that was used for a prior inbound rail movement, is being returned to Southdown.

In these circumstances, when the transport operator is wanting to make a VBS booking, they will need to do the following :-

• When seeking to pick up an empty KiwiRail container, the transport operator must ensure they have the KiwiRail freight booking number related to that container’s subsequent booked, loaded outbound rail movement. The same KiwiRail freight booking number (or the container number as this will be known at this stage) can be used to make the VBS booking for the delivery of the now loaded container back to Southdown.

• When seeking to return an empty KiwiRail container after it has been used for a prior inbound loaded rail movement, the transport operator must use the KiwiRail container number only. It will not be possible to use the KiwiRail freight booking number from the container’s prior inbound rail movement, as the system will not accept it and thus a VBS booking will not be able to be made.

Hopefully this clarifies this area satisfactorily.

Some help-desk functionality has been arranged to be available for anyone who requires any operational support or who may have more specific questions about the VBS. This will be through Containerchain and the contact details for this are noted below :-

• Containerchain Support at either [email protected] or (0800) 702-302

• Alternatively, for those who may be interested, there are some self-help guides available via this website -

Repeating another key message from the last Newsletter, the basic VBS Booking Fee will apply to all VBS bookings made for the period commencing as from 0001 on Monday the 8th of February, but we will not commence charging any of the other Fees until the 1st of April 2021, in order to give all transport operators and freight customers ample time to get used to the business rules of the VBS.

As always, if you have any queries, please do get in touch with your Key Account Executive, or contact our Customer Service Centre on (0800) 351-351 and they will be happy to help you.

Kind regards,

Alan Piper
Executive General Manager - Sales and Commercial