I have just returned from a journey of around 10,000KM’s after competing in the Sh*tbox Rally (a cancer research fundraiser).

The rally was from Adelaide to Cairns via Roxby Downs, Alice Springs, Burke and Wills and ending in Cairns.

It was an epic adventure that for a brief moment in time had me considering getting a tattoo to commemorate the achievement (lucky I came to my senses!).

After completing the rally I took two weeks to meander down the East Coast of Australia dropping in on relatives and old friends along the way. Sounds nice doesn’t it – it was!

Besides the obvious relaxation, lack of emails and ability to see a lot of our country, one of the great things that I have taken from my trip is the love of Tasmania, and everything it has to offer, by our mainland cousins.

Once upon a time we were ridiculed and teased; not anymore – now we are very much looked upon with envy.

I was fortunate enough to carry with me some Tasmanian pinot noir, craft beers, gin, honey, sauces and organic miso which I distributed along the way – some went to rally team mates and some to relatives and friends.

Couple our amazing products (from amazing producers) with our lack of traffic, clean air and pristine wilderness and compare it to the congestion, strain on infrastructure and tainted air and you quickly understand that Tasmania is paradise and the envy is justified.

We have come off the back of a successful first half of 2017 from my point of view.

A lot of exporters and importers have increased their volumes (from an Agility Logistics point of view).

Some have taken advantage of the TFES export rebates for the domestic aspect of the Bass Strait component and whilst the figures look low in the statistical reporting (returns for TFES), the confidence in exporters in investing in new equipment or property or exploring new markets and even value adding to their product is encouraging.

Importers of raw materials that go into various industries in Tasmania have confidence and volumes have increased here as well – providing an indication that output of these industries are up.

The competition in shipping circles is interesting with some trade lanes being competitively chased by the lines but also coupled with space restrictions and equipment challenges (especially with the grain exports from the eastern seaboard in the early months of 2017).

Some areas on the radar for the second part of 2017 are: Will all the shipping lines currently servicing Tasmania still retain their services (especially now the reefer season has ended)? Will DP World continue with their planned expansion and introduction of a direct Asia-calling vessel in Burnie later in the year? Will a suitable solution for King Island present itself soon? Watch this space.

By Brett Charlton, Agility Logistics General Manager Tasmania