Logistics & Distribution

A highlight from the Port of Brisbane

An efficient and productive logistics and distribution sector is vital to ensure Australia’s continued economic prosperity, and Brisbane is the ideal logistics location, offering unequalled infrastructure, strategic location, land availability and significant labour advantages.

In 2010/11, Brisbane’s transport, postal and warehousing sector employed about 40,000 people and contributed about $10 billion to the Brisbane economy, making it one of the largest industry contributors to Brisbane’s gross regional product (Source: Queensland Treasury and Trade, Experimental Estimates of Gross Regional Product 2000-01, 2006-07 and 2010-11).

The strength of Brisbane’s logistics and distribution industry is bolstered by the Australia Trade Coast (ATC), incorporating the Port of Brisbane , Brisbane Airport and surrounding industrial areas. A dynamic 8000ha industrial and commercial precinct located just 6km from Brisbane’s Central Business District, ATC provides business with access to one of the fastest-growing ports and airports in the country and crucial support from the state’s largest industry leaders, making it a unique commercial/industrial offering.
Road and rail freight movements between Brisbane and Australia’s other eastern seaboard capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne is forecast to grow at rates above the national average over the next 15  years (Source: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Research Report, Multimodal Interstate Freight in Australia, 2010).

With excellent links to Australia’s southern markets and quick access to the grazing, agricultural and resources centres of central and southern Queensland, Brisbane’s Western Corridor is a major manufacturing hub and a logistics hot-spot for national carriers and distribution centres.

Brisbane's Competitive Advantage

Excellent economic fundamentals 

With an economy valued at $135 billion, Brisbane is the economic hub and driver of the Queensland economy. Brisbane’s economy is forecast to grow by more than 60 per cent to $217 billion by 2031, driving demand for transport and logistics services for national and international markets (Source: Brisbane City Council, Brisbane 2012-2031 Economic Development Plan).

Globally connected

Brisbane is the closest major Australian capital city to Asia and home to one of Australia’s fastest-growing capital city ports, the Port of Brisbane. As the global trend to shorten supply chains continues, Brisbane is a gateway to national and international markets. Direct air and shipping links to key Asian ports means major Asian destinations can be reached by air in seven to nine hours. Brisbane has domestic trade routes south and north via the Pacific and Cunningham Highways, along with standard gauge freight rail from the Port of Brisbane to all capital cities in Australia.

Expanding transport infrastructure

The ATC and its partners have invested more than $1 billion in infrastructure development in the past five years and are committed to investing a further $5 billion over the next 10 years (Source: ATC, 2014). With progressive infrastructure facilities, access to one of the fastest-growing ports and airports in the country and crucial support from the state’s largest industry leaders, ATC is a unique commercial/industrial offering.

Operating costs and labour advantages

Back-loading transport costs typically apply from Brisbane and can be 40 to 60 per cent less than transport rates to Brisbane. Labour and other associated costs such as payroll tax are generally lower than in other Australian capital cities, and labour agreements are the least restrictive in the country. The city has a strong labour market for experienced technicians and semi-skilled staff.

Land availability

Firms locating in Brisbane have a unique opportunity to access land and property in key transport locations near the Brisbane Airport and Port of Brisbane . Within the ATC region, 1300ha of land is planned for sustainable release and development to 2026 (Source: ATC, 2014). The area is made up of 32 industry precincts with prime land adaptable to a diverse range of industries. As the largest and fastest-growing industry and trade precinct in Australia, ATC includes thousands of hectares of privately owned industrial land, offering the ideal mix of freehold and leasing opportunities across mixed-use business areas, light industry, general industry and heavy industry zoned areas.


Distribution and warehousing

Many national and international companies have chosen the Greater Brisbane region for major national distribution centres. Spearheading this growth are bulky goods retailers. Companies in the Brisbane market include:

  • API – a publicly-listed pharmaceutical wholesaler and retailer
  • Schneider Electric – a global electrical goods wholesaler
  • K-mart - One of Australia’s most recognisable discount department stores
  • Bunnings – Australia’s largest hardware retailer
  • The Reject Shop – an Australia-wide low-cost retailer

Logistics providers

With a population of two million, Brisbane is the principal centre of Australia’s fastest-growing region, South East Queensland. By 2031, Brisbane’s population is expected to increase to more than three million (Source: Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland Treasury, medium series). A growing population means a larger customer base and an increased need for products to be transported and stored. Third-party logistics providers are in great demand, as manufacturers concentrate on core capabilities and outsource services such as warehousing and cold storage. Operators can take advantage of favourable operating conditions, such as Brisbane’s excellent transport infrastructure and easy access to international and domestic markets.

Companies in the Brisbane market include:

  • Linfox – one of the largest privately owned supply chain solutions companies in the Asia Pacific region
  • SCT Logistics – a provider of national, multi-modal transport and logistics solutions
  • Toll Transport – one of the largest transport companies operating in Queensland
  • Silk Logistics – Australian specialist wharf cartage, warehousing and distribution business

Charan Judge

For all enquiries

Charan Judge, Manager, Investment Attraction (Industrial)
T: +61 7 3006 6223