Simply Striking Striping

Fleet colour schemes often derive from a design chosen originally for its visual impact, and subsequently modified in an evolutionary fashion.


Less frequently, the choice of colours and layout is dictated more by the company’s business history – as is the case with Mainfreight-owned Chemcouriers, this month’s finalist in the PPG Transport Imaging Awards.


A Mainfreight spokesperson explains how it began: “Chemcouriers was originally a joint venture between five chemical industry clients of Daily Freightways and Daily Freightways itself, set up in the late 1980s to establish a dedicated route service for dangerous goods.


“At the time, several incidents had dented the DG industry’s reputation and the desire of the consortium was to put the cartage of their goods on a safer and more professional basis.


“Over time, the business developed and attracted new customers, though it was still running as a loss-making venture. The founding group were reluctant to continue subsidising what in part had become the cartage of their competitors’ goods as well, so Daily Freightways took it over completely and ran it as a specialised division.

“The big game-changer came in 1994 when Mainfreight purchased Daily Freightways and realised the potential that lay in Chemcouriers being run as a standalone part of the Mainfreight Group.


“The existing route-based model was scrapped in favour of setting it up more as a specialised hub and spoke model, with its own linehaul and depot-handling systems. Subsequently Chemcouriers has grown to be a leading player in the handling of hazardous goods in the local environment, which is demanding by world standards – both in terms of our roading network geography and our safety regulations. This expertise has led to a recent successful launch of the brand in Australia.”


A key element of the post-purchase reorganisation was a rebranding of Chemcouriers, whose vehicles had previously used a yellow and black colour scheme.


Under the remake, Chemcouriers took on a blend of the red of Daily Freight (the renamed Daily Freightways) and Mainfreight blue. This was by way of angled broad stripes of the two colours behind the trucks’ cabs. The name was picked out simply, in capitals, in a slightly lighter red – running horizontally across the cab doors – all on a white background.


This was repeated much larger on the trailer sides, with the slogan “specialists in hazardous goods distribution” underneath......




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