While logistics is often cited as a barrier to growth in Australia, several business owners have suggested that a business’ location is much less restrictive than many people believe.
At first glance, it seems improbable for a Canberra-based business to be exporting goods abroad. Yet as Bottle of Australia’s Anton Pemmer said, the associated costs work out negligible.
“People think, ‘Oh, look, if you’re in Canberra, you’re so far away from the ports and so on’, [but] there’s certainly advantages of being here as well,” he said.
“If we were in Sydney and we had to ship a pallet to Port Botany for example, or a container or whatever, we would still have domestic freight involved. When we’re shipping from Canberra to Sydney, it’s actually not a great deal difference in cost between moving something from one side of Sydney to the other, to moving it from Canberra to Sydney.”
However the real budgetary consideration, Mr Pemmer said, is weighing up the cost of domestic freight with the property costs of being closer to a major port.
“If you offset that against the cost of rent [as well as] the flexibility and access to international contacts through the embassies, for us, from a product development perspective, working with University of Canberra, or the ANU, it becomes very easy,” he said.
“For us, we haven’t seen it as a disadvantage at all, being based here.”
Similarly VOC-free paint manufacturer ECOLOUR is headquartered in Byron Bay in northern NSW, and its owner Zoe Piper previously told My Business its location outside of a major city had not diminished its profitability or customer demand, nor had it substantially increased costs.
“Byron has got pretty good road networks to get it up to Brisbane or to send it down south from there,” she said.
However, she admitted that servicing the entire country from just one location, while not impossible, is less preferable.
“[As such] we’ve expanded our presence as well, so we’ve got a store down in Melbourne as well as our factory and shop in Byron Bay,” she said.
“Now that we have Melbourne, that can better service the lower half of Australia.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.