When demand for online shopping grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dragonfly Shipping saw a gap in the Australian market and an opportunity to open the country’s first high-volume, seven-day-a-week delivery service.
Dragonfly Shipping, a subsidiary of Canadian logistics giant Intelcom, opened their first Australia facility in Brisbane in 2021, aiming to provide retailers and consumers with an enhanced delivery experience.
They chose Brisbane as the first site for their expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and from this base, have opened two more facilities in South East Queensland, with plans to cover most of Australia’s metropolitan areas by 2022.
Dragonfly Partner and Managing Director Alain Armstrong said the company chose Brisbane to begin its integration into the Australian market because of the opportunities for growth.
“Our analysis of the market determined that, with the growth we’re seeing in Brisbane and the growth we expect to see on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast over the next five years, Queensland would be the right place for us to start,” he says.
“Sydney is obviously the largest city in Australia, but it’s also a very crowded and competitive market.”
With Dragonfly now processing and delivering more than 500,000 packages per day, Armstrong says Brisbane is the cornerstone of the company’s aggressive growth plan.
“Our growth plan includes up to 18 facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in the first 18 months,” Armstrong says.
“Brisbane is the cornerstone of the project, and it’s our facility here that’s paved the way for our integration into this new market.
“Since opening our first facility in Brisbane, we’ve already opened in two regional markets, Toowoomba and Sunshine coast. We’ll be opening on the Gold Coast shortly, and then begin expanding all the way up to Cairns.”
Armstrong attested to Brisbane’s welcoming business community and says the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) played a crucial role in getting Dragonfly off the ground in Australia.
“The team was excited to kick-start our journey in the Australian market in the thriving Sunshine State and contribute to an innovation-led economy that’s on such a positive trajectory,” Armstrong says.
“BEDA was recommended to us by the Canadian Consulate. From our first meetings with them, they provided essential assistance and guidance from a regulatory standpoint, making sure we had all the permits we needed to operate here, and they provided us with excellent contacts.
“BEDA have also supplied us with great logistics industry contacts. We’ve started forging relationships and partnerships already, and the industry here is a lot more open to dialogue and cooperation than in North America.
“Yes, our goal is to disrupt the market, but we’re not taking any volume away from our competitors and I’m pleased they have recognised that.”
As the fastest growing capital city in Australia, Brisbane’s subtropical climate and a thriving $239 billion economy anticipated by 2041, are attracting a wave of interstate migration with a flow-on effect to local businesses.
With internationally recognised educational institutions, Brisbane is a thriving innovation hub, which Armstrong says he is keen to tap into.
“Technology is an important part of our global operations, and the North American market is very competitive when it comes to recruiting IT talent, especially in fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Armstrong said.
“So we are looking to build relationships with organisations that specialise in those fields here, and Brisbane Economic Development Agency have provided us with a range of contacts in that department.”