Learning to Fly: Why Dragonfly Shipping chose Brisbane for their push into Oceania - Choose Brisbane



Company information: Dragonfly 

  • Logistics Technology
  • 30 staff & 15 independent delivery contractors
  • Over 110,000 successful deliveries from April-June 2021


Dragonfly Shipping, a subsidiary of Canadian logistics giant Intelcom, have opened their first Australian facility in Brisbane, offering the country’s first high-volume, seven-day-a-week delivery service and providing retailers and consumers with an enhanced experience. From their base in Brisbane, they have opened two more facilities in South East Queensland and plan to cover most of Australia’s metropolitan area by 2022.

Special delivery 

Montreal-based global logistics company Intelcom have chosen Brisbane as the first site for their expansion into the Asia-Pacific region. 

Dragonfly Shipping, Intelcom’s Australian subsidiary, is a ‘last mile’ logistics service. Drawing on three decades of experience as a market leader in Canada, the company uses a unique technology platform to provide quick, reliable and efficient deliveries. 

Dragonfly made their first deliveries in Brisbane in April 2021, and have already become some of the biggest e-comm player’s delivery partner of choice. Dragonfly Managing Director Alain Armstrong says the company uses advanced route mapping to optimise every delivery of every package that they’re entrusted with. 

“The optimiser allows us to be 30 to 35 per cent more productive than any other legacy carrier,” he says. “In Canada, our analysis has been that if a FedEx driver can do 80 drops a day, our driver can do 130 in the same area.

“Our technology also enables us to offer complete visibility, so we can tell a consumer exactly when we’ll deliver the package to them. It gives them an opportunity to be there at their residence to receive the package if they wish, instead of just knowing that it will arrive at some point during the day. 

“If they’re home to sign for the delivery, we’ll send the signature to our client and close the transaction. If they’re not home, we’ll take a picture of the residence and tell the consumer exactly where we left the package. Nobody else in the industry is doing that right now, and it’s been very well received in Australia.” 

A challenger appears

Armstrong says Australia was chosen because it’s a market that’s ripe for disruption. 

“We think we can bring our expertise and our learnings from the Canadian market to solve problems for the Australian eCommerce industry and address frustrations for consumers,” he says. 

“The eCommerce landscape in Australia is very similar to what it was like in Canada in 2015. It’s very static, and inventory doesn’t always reside in the country, so there can be long lead times to get it here. We help by shaving some delivery time out of the end of that process. 

“We deliver seven days a week, we deliver on public holidays, and we bring speed to the market in a way that conventional delivery services usually don’t.” 

Armstrong says the company chose Brisbane to begin its integration into the Australian market because of the opportunities for growth. 

“Sydney is obviously the largest city in Australia, but it’s also a very crowded and competitive market,” he says. 

“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. In many ways, it’s similar to what we did in Canada, where we waited until the end of our journey to expand into Toronto. 

“We chose to open our first facility in the suburb of Salisbury, just south of the CBD, because we were able to find a building that suited our needs perfectly, and because we can quickly access the rest of the city from there.” 

A helping hand 

Armstrong says the Brisbane Economic Development Agency (EDA) played a crucial role in getting Dragonfly off the ground here. 

“Brisbane EDA was recommended to us by the Canadian Consulate,” he says. “From our first meetings with them, they provided absolutely 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. 

“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. So we’re looking to build relationships with organisations that specialise in those fields here, and Brisbane EDA have provided us with a range of contacts in that department. 

“Brisbane EDA have also supplied us with great logistics industry contacts. What we’ve realised is that the industry here is a lot more open to dialogue than it is in North America, where companies tend to be very guarded about how they operate and what they do. I’ve already had numerous discussions with our competitors here, and we’ve started forging relationships and partnerships already, because people here understand that no one entity can do everything for everybody. 

“Yes, our goal is to disrupt the market, but if you look at what we’ve done in Canada, we’re not taking any volume away from our competitors. What we do is we enable the eCommerce industry to grow, and then we take that additional volume. So I’m pleased our competitors here are recognising that, and that there’s a level of cooperation that exists between organisations in this landscape.” 

Armstrong says Dragonfly’s aggressive growth plan will include up to 18 facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria in the first 18 months. 

“We’re right where we want to be right now,” he says. “Since opening our facility in Salisbury in April, we’ve already opened in two regional markets, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast. We’ll be opening on the Gold Coast shortly, and then we’ll begin expanding all the way up to Cairns.

“But 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.”

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