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The 2022 ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer underscores the impact of the ongoing pandemic, bottlenecked supply chains, new policies and the war in Ukraine, as well as the changing landscape of the industry.

For three years running, the cost and availability of transport and logistics remains the number one barrier to exporting, with 67% of respondents citing this in the Barometer survey.

According to the 334 Kiwi exporters surveyed, the unpredictability of the global supply chain is a continued strain being felt by Kiwi exporters. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed say delayed transit times and increased costs have hampered supply chains over the past 12 months, with a further 48% unable to secure shipping space.

Additional barriers highlighted by exporters include the high cost of doing business in New Zealand, with 34% stating this as a key barrier and 24% of respondents listing the value of the New Zealand dollar as a major roadblock.

On a more positive note, 52% of exporters stated their orders have increased over the past 12 months. Also, 67% of respondents are expecting their export orders to increase in 2023, indicating a strong year ahead.

ExportNZ’s Josh Tan said exporters continue to send a clear signal as to what the main barriers to exporting are. “The message from exporters has been consistent for the past three years. What keeps them up at night is clear through the 2022 ExportNZ DHL Barometer surveys and ExportNZ has used this information to advocate on behalf of the sector.

“It’s great to see exporters expect a strong year in 2023, but there are still some storm clouds ahead if we can’t bring inflation under control, iron out supply chain issues, and enable exporters to recruit the staff they need, all of which continue to plague exporters.

“It’s also reassuring to see Kiwi ingenuity still keeping our businesses competitive both locally and internationally.”

Exporters have continually adapted how they do business to try and increase their orders with 44% stating that they have developed new products and services in the past 12 months.

A quarter of those surveyed say the Government can help exporters by making it easier to travel to New Zealand, highlighting the importance of streamlining the process for international business partners and specialists. A further 24% want to see more support for attending trade shows and 23% want to see New Zealand continue to negotiate and sign free trade agreements with new partners.

DHL Express New Zealand Vice President, Commercial Selina Deadman (pictured) said, “2022 has seen businesses impacted by post-pandemic related challenges. This once again proves the importance of international connections for sustaining global trade.”

With the easing of some pandemic related restrictions that had been placed on businesses in previous years, 21% stated they did not need any government assistance – up from just 3% compared to 2021.

This year, respondents were asked how their business has been affected by the current labour shortage. Twenty-two percent of exporters placed it as the fourth largest barrier to trade, behind the cost and availability of transport and logistics, the high cost of doing business in New Zealand and value of the New Zealand dollar.

Despite 63% of exporters saying they are not struggling to fill job vacancies, 48% have also been advertising jobs for four months or more without success and say the applicants to these roles lacked the skills required.

“It is positive to see that New Zealand exporters have remained steadfast, with more businesses in 2022 reporting growth and 67% expecting further increases in 2023,” added Deadman. “We know our customers adapted their business models in order to keep up with the demand and the report has highlighted that Kiwi exporters need to have strong growth strategies, consider target markets and the support of robust logistics networks such as DHL Express to reap the rewards of the export industry entering growth mode.”

Go to for the full Survey results.

The ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer is a joint initiative between ExportNZ and DHL. A total of 334 New Zealand exporters were surveyed for the ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer 2022. The Barometer is an initiative aimed at analysing export confidence in New Zealand and identifying export trends. It is based on nationwide research, examining the business outlook of Kiwi exporters, highlighting changes in overseas market demand and providing insights into the factors impacting on New Zealand’s export trade.

The research was conducted between 1 August and 26 August 2022.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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