Local industry making a global impact

24 MARCH 2022

As Australia’s fastest-growing city, powered by infrastructure and a $182 billion thriving economy, Brisbane is a key Asia pacific destination for business and trade.

With an innovation-led economy and a business-friendly environment, Brisbane offers the perfect conditions for investment, growth and trade. 

The city’s proximity to Australia’s three largest export markets, rising population growth, and a predicted employment boom over the coming decade will transform Brisbane’s industry strengths in advanced manufacturing, logistics, property and construction, health, professional services and tourism. 

This is a city where innovation meets capability. 

Brisbane is already home to the researchers who developed the breakthrough Gardasil HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer-causing viruses, and now boasts world-leading Covid-19 home-test kit provider Ellume, and gut microbiome science company Microba.  

Brisbane's growth and investment potential continues to build within key priority sectors including Health (Med Tech Initiative), Advanced Manufacturing (Future Food), Property (PropTech). 

Logistics growth bolstered by infrastructure 

Brisbane is positioned to thrive as a logistics centre, as the closest Australian capital city to the nation’s three largest export destinations, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. 

The growth of the logistics sector is primed with exports accelerating 6.2 per cent over the last three years to add $9.1bn to the economy.

Recent infrastructure developments at the Port of Brisbane and the Brisbane Airport have increased the capacity for logistics growth. This is ushering in 24/7 operations to connect the city to the world. 

Brisbane Airport Corporation’s second runway duplication will enable a $5 billion economic boost, as well as the development of further industrial sites located at the critical transport hub. 

The Port of Brisbane has a $466 million infrastructure works plan over five years to increase annual trade opportunities from its current value of more than $50 billion. 

These developments will further drive capacity in our local logistics sector, where revenues have increased more than 25 per cent since 2016 to a value of $25.4 billion in 2019/2020. 

Brisbane’s ‘last mile’ role in global logistics 

One of the recent corporate entrants to Brisbane’s logistics sector is technology business Dragonfly Shipping. The UK-headquartered company opened its first Australian site in Salisbury, Brisbane, from where it conducts global e-commerce platform Amazon’s “last-mile” delivery in the region. 

Since arriving in 2021 the company has opened its doors to another two sites in southeast Queensland, supported by Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA). It now processes and delivers more than 400,000 packages daily. 

Managing Director Alain Armstrong said the support from BEDA enabled them to achieve the necessary regulatory contacts. 

He also said BEDA was able to supply them with great logistics industry contacts that opened the door to potential collaboration. 

“What we’ve realised is that the industry here is a lot more open to dialogue,” he said. 

Brisbane’s premium food future 

The city is recognised as Queensland’s leading export hub, servicing a 360-degree surrounding food bowl where the superior logistics and transport links provide a competitive advantage to the entire supply chain.

Brisbane is also recognised as an attractive location for global expansion including Asahi, Woolworths, and Hilton Food Group.

Food manufacturing is big business and Brisbane’s premium food makers (manufacturers, processors brewers, distillers and artisans) are setting themselves apart with high-quality offerings for global and national markets. 

Local businesses who are competitively responding to global consumers’ demands for wellness convenience and sustainability are also noting exponential growth, these include additive-and preservative-free chocolatier 17 Rocks Chocolates, social enterprise e-marketplace Food Connect, organic probiotic food producer Kehoe’s Kitchen and ready to eat meal solutions company Nourish’d

But it is not just the edible elements of the supply chain where success is being recognised - Eight Mile Plains-based LYRO Robotics uses deep learning and robotics to automate packing for fresh produce, supporting farmers’ capacity and efficiency.  

BEDA continues to invest in scaling the city’s food businesses, while also attracting interstate and international manufacturers to the region.

The Future Food Initiative supports companies to build their global capability and prepare for expansion opportunities whilst fast-tracking connections to market buyers and capital investors.

All this is expected to produce year-on-year growth and job creation worth almost $100 million by 2024. 

Helping local businesses reach new markets 

Throughout 2021, BEDA linked local food and drink businesses to the e-marketplace platform Amazon Australia, allowing them to diversify online and reach new consumers. 

Nine local producers undertook BEDA-sponsored programs to grow and scale their businesses before listing on Amazon. These included SOFI SpritzEast ForgedMilton RumNewstead Brewing, and Jim’s Jerky

Amazon Australia’s Director of Operations, Mr Craig Fuller, said Brisbane was a key strategic location to meet customer demand in Queensland.

Amazon’s Lytton distribution facility spans the area of two football fields, offering the capacity to store about half a million items and ship tens of thousands of products daily. 

“Brisbane is a key strategic location to meet customer demand in Queensland. We are committed to improving delivery promises for our customers as demand continues to grow and building infrastructure closer to where our customers and third-party sellers live enables us to do this, while creating good jobs for people in Brisbane,” Mr Fuller said. 

Aerial of Brisbane Airport runway