Balmoral Global Logistics establishes Australian HQ in Melbourne

(CHILE 2021)

Santiago-based Balmoral Global Logistics has established its Australian commercial headquarters in Melbourne.

Founded in 2011 by CEO Christian Garcés, Balmoral has established themselves as an integrated transport and logistics solutions for the mining, energy and other industrial sectors.

As an expert operator across these sectors, the business focuses on the full cross-boundary logistics lifecycle of moving machinery, heavy equipment and entire modular plants.

Headquartered in Chile, Balmoral services some of the country’s largest mining suppliers and energy companies as key clients, and now boast several Australian mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) businesses.

After identifying investment opportunities in mining, mining technology, energy and the industrial sectors between Australia and Latin America, Balmoral is setting up a commercial and operational presence in Victoria so it can offer logistics and freight transportation, along with soft-landing and international business development consulting services to this region. Balmoral will leverage its strong networks, agents and capabilities in Chile and Australia to deliver high quality logistics and soft landing services to Australian clients in Latin America.

Balmoral expects to benefit from Melbourne's well-positioned geographic location and will look to leverage Victoria’s international logistics and distribution network.  Further, Melbourne is home to many global mining and METS head offices, easing access to potential Australian and Asia-Pacific clients, and boasts growing commercial traffic between Australia and Latin America.

We had a chat to Christian Garcés, Balmoral Global Logistics CEO, about the company’s investment in Victoria.

1. What attracted you / your company to invest in Victoria?

After researching and visiting different regions and states across Australia - including those jurisdictions where the bulk of mining activity takes place - we came to the conclusion that Melbourne was a well-located geographic location, where the main offices of many global mining and METS companies are based.

We chose to set up our initial operation in Melbourne due to the great business opportunities but also as a result of all the support provided by the Victorian Government both in Santiago and Melbourne.

2. What challenges did you face when you were exploring/entering/expanding into Victoria?

In previous business trips to Australia while we were conducting market research and scouting potential clients, we realised that although the mining sector in general knows Chile and other Latin American mining countries well, there is still a significant opportunity for facilitating two-way trade by delivering tailored, high quality logistical support and consulting services.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen greater interest in our services, but a key challenge is to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers, build trust and raise awareness with clients on the opportunities that exist between Australia and Latin America. For this, having a physical presence in-country is key.

Movement and other restrictions established in response to the pandemic delayed our plans, but Invest Victoria’s support was key to ensure we could connect with the right people and obtain all relevant information from a distance.

3. How did working with Invest Victoria help with your investment journey?

Invest Victoria has been very supportive of our journey. We started with a high-level conversation with the Victorian Trade and Investment Office for Latin America in Santiago, Chile, in mid-2019 and from the outset they showed great interest and commitment to ensuring our company’s successful landing in Australia. They have been very helpful, by developing a business program for a visit to Victoria in early 2020, connecting us with potential clients and partners and key stakeholders from the mining and logistics industry, as well as helping us with visas.

The Victorian Government is very proactive, and we have really felt them to be true business partners in our exciting journey of international expansion project. Their support has made us feel like we were not alone.

4. What advice do you have for other global businesses looking to invest in Victoria to improve their chance of success?

Based on our experience, our first advice would be: don’t do it on your own!  Ask Invest Victoria for help.  Check if they have an office in your region and reach out to them – they will be eager to help and support your project if they find that you are committed to expanding into Australia or the Asia Pacific.

The second piece of advice would be to invest time and resources in exploring the market well, including your target industry or industries, size, potential clients, and market demand for your products.  Assess pros and cons of different geographic locations. Take your time to understand the Australian culture and be prepared to communicate in a fluent, efficient, and trustful way from the outset.

Make a priority of visiting the market as soon and as often as you can. Business and personal connections are very important in Australia. Take advantage of Australians’ openness to develop your networks and engage from an early stage with industry bodies and government organisations, who are very proactive.

Be passionate about Australia and its culture.

Contact us to explore opportunities for investing in Victoria.

Find another case study