Forget the arguments about remaining in the EU Customs Union, many British companies have already moved on, says the overseas shipping specialist ParcelHero. And ParcelHero reveals it’s Australia that’s rising to the top as a major export market.
ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks says, ‘Ignore all the talk of the US or BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) being at the forefront of British exports post Brexit. Since the vote, ParcelHero has seen a huge 54 per cent rise in interest in shipping to Australia.’
Jinks adds, ‘Australia seems to have been overlooked in all the excitement about new emerging markets. Yet ParcelHero has seen a surge in shipments since June 2016. This is not surprising considering Australia is now the world’s 13th largest economy, and our two countries have a shared language and Commonwealth heritage.’
‘Britain already ships £4.1 billion of goods to Australia, making it our 21st largest export market – but there is enormous potential to drive that up considerably further. It’s not so long ago that Britain and the US were almost entirely dominant in the Australian marketplace; now we are only its tenth largest importer.’
And the Aussie’s have some huge advantages for British exporters. ‘Australia boasts one of the highest thresholds before there are any tariffs to be paid on imported goods, making it a highly tempting market for UK manufacturers and retailers. The AU$1,000 threshold means goods worth up to around £560 can be exported into Australia without incurring any duties or taxes – that’s a very generous limit.’
Jinks says ‘President Trump’s short-sighted decision to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Australia was to launch with eleven other trading partners (including Japan, Canada and Singapore) has left the remaining TPP potential members regrouping and making very encouraging noises about including Britain in the Partnership, post-Brexit. This would lead to what amounts to a significant free trade deal with Australia and the other signatories. And that opens up even more export opportunities to Australia’.
Australia also has a significant advantage in terms of marketing products overseas, says Jinks. ‘Australia’s three major cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, hold half its entire population. That makes targeting export sales to Australia easier than you might think, given how large the country is.’
ParcelHero has already seen a significant increase in shipments down under since the Brexit vote, as businesses seek to establish relationships in good time for a potential trade deal with Australia – negotiations for which can potentially start immediately after March 29, 2019.
Jinks reveals, ‘ParcelHero is shipping products down under in ever greater numbers, from clothing and lighting to car parts and books. UK retailers and manufacturers are clearly setting about building relationships and investigating markets in Australia in readiness for Brexit. We’ve also shipped quite a lot of distinctly British niche products down under recently, from ketchup and pickles to Highland dancing items – not surprising since 1.2 million Brits have made Australia their home. Who knows what other markets remain untapped?’
‘There were even a number of snowboard product samples sent last month – though we’re not convinced that will be a big regular repeat order!’