Wellcamp to Vietnam ‘commerce corridor’ takes flight

Emma Alsop, 14/03/2022

WAGNER Corporation and Vietnam’s largest luxury importer, Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to develop a direct freight route between Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport in Queensland and Cam Ranh Airport which is set to boost exports of beef and other agriculture products.

This ‘commerce corridor’ aims to provide access to a consumer market valued at over $10 billion for producers in the Darling Downs and could see daily international cargo flights between the two airports commence by March 2023.

IPP Group vice president Phillip Nguyen, Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner and Mort & Co CEO Stephen O’Brien.

Wagner Corporation chairman, John Wagner, said the commerce corridor is an opportunity to support local agriculture and showcase the products Australia has to offer.

“We see this service as a direct and daily service; it’s going to really open up the way we do things,” Mr Wagner said.

“It means that produce can leave here and be in the supermarkets eight, nine, ten hours later.”

IPP Group vice president, Philip Nguyen, said the commerce corridor will showcase high quality goods to its growing customer base.

“The commerce corridor will access our customers’ growing demand for a range of Australian products, from beef and other agricultural produce to pre-packaged foods.

“This is just the beginning. The direct freight route is a platform for further opportunities to develop bilateral trade and partnerships between Australian and Vietnamese businesses.”

Mr Nguyen said he sees the MOU as “just the starting point” with the Australian-Vietnam model able to be replicated for other south-east Asian markets.

“Parts of south-east Australia with Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, that is next in the pipeline; but I do believe Vietnam will be the key factor to get this to be success,” he said.

Darling Downs lot feeder Mort & Co is one of the first local producers set to benefit from the deal.

Mort & Co chief executive officer Stephen O’Brien said the MOU will solve one of the company’s biggest issues when exporting chilled goods to consumers.

“Our challenge is getting from farm to plate as soon as we possibly can,” Mr O’Brien said.

“To think that we can get to Vietnam and to the consumers’ table within 72 to 86 hours is just incredible.

“We don’t get to parts of Australia in that timeline. We have the potential to be a great player in the international market and having the likes of IPP as part of our business going forward is a game-changer.”

Mort & Co general manager meat sales and operations, Brett Williams, said Mort & Co already had connections with Vietnam, but inadequate supply chains created problems expanding the market.

“We have done small volumes to Vietnam, but it is usually quite slow to get product there,” Mr Williams said.

“With this deal there is potential for Vietnam to be a bigger market for us in the future.”

The MOU signing follows a number of weeks of negotiations between Wagner Corporation and IPP Group on the proposal’s details.

The two parties will now develop a business case that investigates the potential benefits of the commerce corridor and set a framework for its implementation.





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  1. Bruce Arkins, 19/03/2022

    This is amazing

  2. Ken Proud, 14/03/2022

    More great work by a local family company. Good stuff!

  3. Peter A Peirano, 14/03/2022

    Why don’t we have a thousand other Wagners in Australia

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