The industries of transport and logistics, storage, warehousing and distribution form a major industry cluster within Blacktown City. This is a long recognised strength of the City with as many as 17 of Sydney’s top 25 transport companies having their corporate headquarters or main facility located in the City.
The City due to the abundance of employment lands (some 3000 hectares of which approximately 50% is still available for development) is also a popular location for Distribution Centres (DCs). These DCs are used by many manufacturing based companies to store and distribute product both nationally and internationally. Many of the DCs are used as central locations for offshore manufacturing, or alternatively for the handling, warehousing and coordination of product entering the Australian market. As a result, many DCs operate as advanced logistic centres or ‘fast moving’ storage facilities.
The industrial parks of Arndell Park, Minchinbury, Huntingwood and Glendenning have emerged as some of the world’s most notable transport and logistics centres. Strong supply chain linkages have also been identified within the sector.
Corporate citizens that are specialist transport, storage, warehousing or logistics companies, or have logistic elements to their business l include:
ALDI (DC), ACCO (DC), Allied Pickfords, Coles Myer Logistics, Coventry, Camsons, Chartered Refrigerated Transport, CHUBB, Fujitsu (DC), Exel Logistics, IGA (DC), Independent Liquor Group (DC), Jim Pearson Transport, Just Jeans (DC), Lindsay Bros., Mayne Logistics, Nestle (DC), P&O Cold Logistics, Refrigerated Roadways, Sharp (DC), Sony (DC), Star Track Express, TollAust, Transconnect Logistics, Trans International Moving & Shipping, Westgate logistics, Woolworths (DC) and Patricks Logistics.
Manufacturing in Australia makes a vital and significant contribution to the economy. Blacktown City has approximately 1,100 manufacturers operating in the City. Of these, iron and steel manufacturing & fabrication, industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing, prefabricated building material and non-metallic product manufacturing (including rubber, plastic, glass and ceramic products) have the largest concentrations within the City. Food & beverage manufacturers are also highly significant in the City.
In terms of value, the manufacturing sector continues to directly contribute almost $2 billion of economic activity to the City (2012 BCC indicators) despite growing pressure on the industry as a whole. It employs over 13,000 people in Blacktown City and it is estimated that for each dollar of value-add created by local manufacturing, approximately $3.5 to $5 dollars is spent in industries that directly support manufacturing. Manufacturing exports have been steady due to the internationally competitive nature of manufactures and the shift towards higher-value added products requiring greater skilled labour. From 1999 to 2010, the labour productivity in the manufacturing sector increased by 2.2% on average, compared to an average increase of 1.5% for the overall market sector. Manufacturing’s comparatively high productivity levels are a critical factor in its resilience.
Corporate citizens belonging to each of the City’s key manufacturing sub-industries includes:
Iron & steel manufacturing and fabrication: Altank Sheet Metal, Boral, Dork Clark, Intercast & Forge, John Danks, Luxfer Gas, One Steel (formerly BHP), Rondalee, Van Leer and Wire Industries.
Industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing: Air International Transit, Austral Refrigeration, Bosch, Cuno Pacific, DBT Australia, Freshline Machines, Fridgerite Refrigeration, Kelair Pumps, Prime Pumps, Red Australia, Tyco/ Unistrut, Wartsila and Weidmuller.
Prefabricated building material: Ardex Building Products, George Norman and Co., Howard and Sons, NESS Security, OBS Equipment, Sydney Blinds and Screens, Symonite and Tasman Insulations.
Non-metallic product manufacturing: ACI Plastics, APS Chemicals, Cartigny, Espak, GNS Ceramics, Humes, MBT Australia, Multifill, Plaspak, Spies Hecker, Wattyl, Zodiac.
Food manufacturing: Arnotts, Bells Pure Ice, Massel, Cadbury-Schweppes, Cerebos Foods, General Mills, Greens, OSI International Foods, PFD Foods, Produce One, The Real Mc Coy Snack Foods.
The construction sector employs almost 6000 people in Blacktown City. Blacktown, home of the North-West Growth Centre has been able to maintain a strong construction sector producing almost $600m in Gross Regional Product. Patent demand for residential construction is expected over the next three years due to interest rates remaining low. Furthermore, restructuring of the national economy to diversify is likely to see the total value of Non-Residential Building activity increase to that experienced in the early 2000’s with particular growth expected in engineering construction.
Therefore, the industry has potential to grow in the context of increasing local demand for trade services, particularly in the construction and maintenance of new urban release areas and a continued expansion of Blacktown’s residential population forecast to reach 500,000 by the year 2031.
Examples of the City’s major construction companies include: Austress Freyssinet, Preformed Line Products, Reid Construction, Western Earth Moving, W.J. Friend.
Niche and Emerging Industry
As with the face of industry in most metropolitan contexts, Blacktown City’s industry mix is characterised by continual change. These changes include both the types and size of industry present in the City, and the ways in which they operate, adapt, learn, grow and change. In the past three decades widespread improvements in technology, the rate of innovation and the exploitation of knowledge have been the central features driving this change.
As a result of this change, Blacktown City has several emerging industries that have been identified in the region. While the City’s niche industries have been implied by the aforementioned profiles currently ‘emerging’ industries include; knowledge-based consultancy (such as IT services), emerging chemical/pharmaceutical research businesses and an emerging smart environmental services sector. Other specialities include niche business service businesses.