Does The Index have a service guarantee?

The Index’s service is to provide quotes on behalf of New Zealand’s top freight forwarders, and then connect the buyer to the successful freight forwarder upon acceptance of a quote. The Index can’t guarantee the service delivered by the forwarders from that point, but we will be monitoring their service delivery and removing any forwarder who fails to meet The Index’s agreed service levels. Please note, that each freight forwarding company has its own terms and conditions, which they must provide you.

The Index is new, and importing goods is an important part of my business. Can I trust you?

The Index is a marketplace, where importers can come to find New Zealand’s best freight options. All of the participating freight forwarders are of long standing service and reputation, and have signed up to an agreed level of service. Any forwarder who performs below those standards will be removed from The Index.

what are the benefits of using the index?

You can find a list of benefits on our Overview page. Ultimately they boil down to: we offer more options and better prices, instantly and for much less hassle. The idea is to cut the time it takes to compare quotes from multiple forwarders at the same time the forwarders are competing for this work.

what are the terms lcl, fcl, fob, exw, dims?

LCL — Less than container load. This means that your shipment will be transported in a container that is already partially filled.
FCL — Full container load. Currently FCL shipping is not provided by The Index, however, we intend to expand into other categories in future. Please join our mailing list if you wish to be informed of evelopments in this area.
FOB — Free on board. This term has slightly different meanings around the world. Generally, however, and in the case of The Index, it means that the supplier pays the transportation costs

from the point of manufacture/storage to the port of origin, at which point you as he buyer take full responsibility.
EXW — Ex works. In contrast to FOB, in this case the buyer takes full responsibility for the goods while they are still at the seller’s premises (for example their warehouse or factory). This means that the goods are not cleared for export, and not loaded onto any collecting vehicle — those responsibilities, too, are the buyer’s.
DIMs — Dimensions: generally the product of length, width, and height (in metres) of the shipment.

Are there restrictions on the size or weight I can ship through The Index?

Your shipment must be able to fit into an airline container (for air freight) or ocean freight container (if being transported by sea). If you have any doubts please ask us.

Does The Index include insurance?

Insurance is coming to The Index very soon. It will be offered on a “per shipment” basis, or you can be referred to a provider who will offer the best rates in New Zealand.

Why doesn’t The Index offer shipping options for perishable, oversized or dangerous goods, personal effects or live animals?

These kinds of shipments are potentially complex and often require specialist expertise. The Index doesn’t currently support such services, however, we intend to expand into some of these categories in the future. Please join our mailing list if you wish to be informed of developments in this area.

My shipment is only 0.01m3 and weighs 3kg. Does The Index provide a courier option?

Yes, The Index now includes courier services from selected origins, and are adding further options on a regular basis.

I’m an exporter. Can I use The Index for offshore shipments?

Right now The Index is only for inbound freight. However, we intend to expand into other categories in future. Please join our mailing list if you wish to be informed of developments in this area.

Can I use The Index for same-day deliveries?

Sorry, no. The Index is for inbound freight from any international destination. Same-day international deliveries, if available at all, require a courier service.

Does The Index offer packing/unpacking services?

Packing and unpacking are not typically part of the importing process, however, the freight forwarder you choose will most likely be able to arrange this service as an optional extra.

Can I compare my Air freight quotes to Sea freight quotes (or vice versa) without having to type everything in again?

Yes – just select both Air and Sea options in the check boxes above the comparison table.

What happens if I choose not to go ahead with a quote? Can I return to it later?

If you have logged in, your quote will be saved in “My shipments”. Please note that all quotes are valid for a limited time, so your quote may no longer be valid when you return to it (see the message... 'If you have not logged in, your quote will not be saved.')

Why can’t I see who the forwarders are before I confirm a quote?

The costs shown are wholesale, and therefore unavailable outside of The Index. To protect these rates, and maintain the integrity of the marketplace, the forwarders require anonymity. The Index also protects the importer's identity during the quote comparison process the ensure their anonymity (and so you don't get constant calls from sales reps).

Is GST included in The Index quotes?

No. As with all commercial quotations, all quotes generated by The Index are GST exclusive.

What other charges do I have to pay?

All freight-related charges that pertain to the variables you choose will be included in the quote. Assuming you have selected all the available inclusions on the Freight Calculator, the only additional charges you will pay are GST, duty and any other applicable Government-related charges.

Why does GST not apply to all charges?

In line with New Zealand taxation law, GST does not apply to charges for any goods or services that are incurred before shipment. GST is only added to costs incurred from the point of departure.

Can I claim back the GST?

If you are GST registered, you can claim back GST. If you are uncertain about this, we suggest you check with your accountant.

What is the duty rate?

You can find out the duty rate from a customs broker. If you don’t currently deal with one, you can search for a customs broker here.

I see that foreign currency is converted in the quote – what happens if the exchange rate changes between quoting and delivery?

All quotes generated by the Freight Calculator are fixed until the cost expiry date shown on the comparison table.

How do I get a deferred account with customs?

You can contact New Zealand Customs directly, or get in touch with our customer service team.

Can I still use my deferred account with customs?


Do you deliver to residential addresses? If so, does someone need to be home?

If you have selected “Include Customs and cartage” on the Freight Calculator, the freight will be delivered to one address in the metropolitan area of the destination chosen. If that address is a residential one, you will need to confirm delivery with your chosen forwarder. There may be additional charges in some cases with limited access or unloading requirements for example if there is no forkhoist onsite a tail-lift truck with a pallet jack will need to be arranged.

Do you offer pick-up services? If not, who should I contact?

Pick-up is available within the metropolitan area of the port of origin. To include this in your quote, select EXW (rather than FOB) on the Freight Calculator.

For cartage at my destination, what area does “metropolitan areas” cover?

Cartage includes delivery to a premises within metropolitan city limits at the selected destination.

Is unloading included in the quote?

Generally cartage does NOT include unloading, but you can confirm this with the freight forwarder you choose.

Does The Index include the cost of delivery via hiab?

Sorry, no. If a hiab (truck-mounted crane) is required, extra costs are likely to be incurred. Your chosen forwarder will be able to confirm those costs.

Who do I talk to if there is a problem with my shipment?

If you have a problem with your shipment while it’s in transit, or following delivery, please deal directly with the forwarder.

What happens if there’s a dispute over services or payments?

In the event that there is a dispute between the customer and the forwarder, The Index’s disputes process is as follows:


  1. The party with the complaint should communicate in writing with the other party, explaining the nature of the complaint and outlining their desired resolution
  2. If there is no response, or a resolution is not reached, the unsatisfied party should contact The Index at, attaching copies of the communication and any responses received. We will contact both parties and attempt to resolve the dispute amicably and without prejudice.
  3. If the issue remains unresolved, we will refer both parties to a third party mediation service. The Index will then cease to be part of proceedings, other than to provide documented evidence to either party if requested.
  4. If either party is still unhappy with the outcome, they have the option of taking their dispute through other channels such as the courts or the Disputes Tribunal.


Do I get a refund if my shipment doesn’t arrive on time?

Due to factors beyond the control of The Index and the forwarders themselves, no guarantees of delivery by a certain date are made within the freight forwarding industry.

I have questions before I confirm – who can I ask?

Please contact our customer service team. We will either answer your question directly, or get back to you with information from the relevant forwarder/s

I have placed an order and no one has contacted me. What do I do?

If the promised response time has elapsed, please contact our customer service team (link to contact form) and they will make sure there are no unavoidable delays.

Can I speak to an actual person?

Of course! If you need to speak to us, please contact us (link to contact form) and we’ll call you straight back.

If there is a delay to my shipment, how will I find out?

The forwarder will update you every step of the way and you will have access to tracking information through their normal channels.

NZ Owned and $NZD

The Index is prouldy New Zealand owned and operated.

All of our transactions are in New Zealand dollars $NZD.

What happens if the invoice I receive is different from my quote?

The only reason for any variation between the quote and the invoice is a discrepancy between the dimensions shown in the quote and the actual dimensions as recorded by the forwarder on receipt/collection of the shipment. (To confirm a quote, you must tick the box that acknowledges this condition.) However, the forwarder is obliged to communicate any such discrepancy to you before proceeding with the shipping. If there has been no such communication, you pay the amount originally quoted. If there is a dispute; please refer to The Index disputes process.

Who do I pay, how, and when?

You will be invoiced by The Index at the time the shipment details are finalised. Payment is required (by credit card or direct debit) 24 hours prior to delivery, or if you have been approved for credit, as per your agreed terms.

What payment options do you offer?

Visa, MasterCard, direct debit, or for approved customers we offer credit terms. If you are already registered, click here to apply to a credit account.

Can The Index invoice a third party?

No, The Index does not currently offer this facility.

I am a registered charity. Does The Index offer me specially discounted rates?

All quotes provided by The Index are wholesale and therefore already discounted. Of course, you’re welcome to further negotiate with your chosen freight forwarder.